VHA Completes First Set of Hover Tests on Gen3 MD530F Main Blades

MD530F with VHA Gen3 Composite Main Rotor Blades
Test pilot Greg Ashe and VHA president James Van Horn conduct hover tests on the new VHA Gen3 Composite MD530F Main Rotor Blades, August 22, 2013.

The third time seems to be the charm.

At the end of two days of ground run-ups and brief hovers in ground effect for track and balance, the VHA flight test team was able to hover the MD 530F out of ground effect with our new third generation (Gen3) composite main rotor blades. According to VHA founder and president James R. Van Horn during a company celebration at the end of the second day, the initial data looks very good with control loads similar to those currently generated by the metal blades.

“Two days after we first bolted on these new blades, we were able to get farther into testing and gather more data than we could get in four weeks of trying to balance the second generation blades,” Van Horn said. “It looks like we’ve fixed the issues and we’re ready for up and away testing in the next few weeks.”

The hover tests were conducted in the back lot at VHA’s Tempe facility. Flight tests involving translational flight, forward flight and side slips will be conducted at Mesa, Arizona’s Falcon Field.

To see a composite video of the day’s flight tests, click here. You can also find this video on the VanHornAviation YouTube channel.