Ingenium Technologies

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Engineering Services

CH-47 Helicopter Blade Fold Gearbox

Ingenium was approached by our customer to develop a proposal that would add functionality to a mature product. Newer Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters are equipped with automatic blade folding to allow the aircraft to be quickly and easily stored. Older Chinook helicopters employ a manual process to fold blades. The customer was requesting that the gearbox on older helicopters be updated to allow for either manual or automatic blade folding. 

The customer statement of work included a somewhat involved set of requirements for the gearbox. Besides allowing for normal shaft rotation the gearbox would have a shift mechanism to engage the gearbox into its less common operation of blade folding. While operating in the “blade fold mode” the gearbox would need to have the following capabilities:

  • Manual blade folding with a wrench
  • Automatic blade folding by engaging a motor
  • Failure protection against back drive (protects user while manually folding blades) and overload (limits torque to protect the mechanical system)

Because the customer needed this design and proposal effort quickly Ingenium put together a team of mechanical experts to focus on this project. We were able to design this “add on” gearbox within a few weeks. Ingenium provided the customer with a concept trade study and final proposal which included optimized pricing, drawings, analyses, and technical descriptions.