The Sikorsky S-76D features composite main rotor blades and composite tail rotor blades.
The Sikorsky S-76D features composite main rotor blades and composite tail rotor blades.

The work will be performed at the new Exelis composite design and manufacturing centre in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Composite structures are increasingly used by commercial and military aircraft manufacturers to make aircraft lighter, more fuel efficient and more durable. By leveraging our core composite capabilities, demonstrated assembly expertise and commitment to lean manufacturing, we will provide Sikorsky with the highest quality, affordable composite solutions at reduced lead times.
Mike Blair, vice president and general manager of the Exelis aerostructures business

Under this contract, Exelis will fabricate key structures of the Sikorsky S-76D composite tail rotor blade assembly, including the blades, the composite laminate beam, which carries the load of the tail rotors, and additional hardware required for final assembly.

Composite materials in the tail rotor blade assembly, critical to the aircraft’s directional stability, help reduce the weight of the aircraft, improve its reliability and decrease the noise impact to its passengers and the communities where it operates.

Exelis says it will achieve the high-production rates required by the S-76D programme using its expanded manufacturing capacity, precision composite fabrication and machining expertise and final part finishing capability.

A long-standing supplier to Sikorsky, Exelis also fabricates composite structures for the commercial S-76C™ platform and the US Marine Corps’ heavy lift helicopter, the CH-53K.