In recent years, both the Eurocopter EC175 and the Sikorsky S-76D medium twin-engine helicopters have made their maiden flights – each designed with all-composite main rotor blades. The UH-60M Blackhawk, which has been upgraded with a new composite wide-chord rotor blade and more powerful engine, demonstrates an impressive extra 500 pounds of lift. The composite intensive V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor is now successfully deployed and ramping up to full production. Hexcel is a proud supplier to these and other programs, with a wide range of materials including: carbon fiber, reinforcements, epoxy prepregs, and honeycomb engineered core.

Typical Composite Applications in Helicopters 
  •  Rotor blades: carbon and glass prepreg (including carbon woven bias), honeycomb, engineered core, Redux® adhesive
  •  Rotor hub: carbon/epoxy prepreg
  •  Glazing bars: carbon and glass epoxy prepreg
  •  Seats and interiors: glass prepreg, honeycomb
  •  Engine/Body fairings/Access panels: glass, carbon and aramid prepregs with epoxy and BMI resins
  •  Fuselage: carbon and glass prepregs, honeycomb
  •  Main and cargo doors: carbon and glass epoxy prepreg, honeycomb and Redux® adhesive
  •  Horizontal Stabilizers: glass, carbon and aramid prepregs
  •  Fuselage panels: carbon and glass epoxy prepreg, honeycomb and Redux® adhesive
Beyond Materials

Innovative blade production concepts from Hexcel’s Engineered Products group have resulted in contract wins to produce sub-assemblies and even a complete main rotor blade for the Sikorsky S-76D™.

Hexcel’s Engineered Products for Rotorcraft:
  • Tip caps
  • Blade skins
  • Skin to core assemblies
  • Tail rotor skins and skin to cores
  • Flight safety critical parts: MRB spars, TRB Flexbeams.