Air Crane Flies on New Blades

Erickson Incorporated’s S-64F Air Crane® HELITAK 342 from Oregon, USA is based at Moorabbin Airport for this fire season, partnering with Kestrel Aviation of Mangalore, Victoria.

What has gone largely without comment, N163AC “Bubba“, now features new composite main rotor blades, as announced by Erickson Inc. CEO, Doug Kitani in 2020:  “The CMRB (Composite Main Rotor Blade program) shows our commitment to innovation and next-generation programs for the modernization of the S-64 Air Crane® helicopter and legacy fleet”.

Erickson began the process of designing the new blades in 2008, working closely with the FAA (US Federal Aviation Administration) and various industry partners. In 2013 Erickson collaborated with Helicopter Transport Services (HTS), so the blades could be utilized on CH-54 rotorcraft as well.

From Aviation Report Down Under