Once rotor blades have been installed, typically they stay on or very close to the helicopter. But sometimes unforeseen circumstances require the blades to be shipped to another facility for overhaul, repair, painting, or because the blades have been sold separately from the helicopter.
While we know it can be a pain to store rotor blade boxes and crates, we highly recommend that you keep at least one set of rotor blade boxes on hand in case you need to transport the blades individually. Here are a few good reasons to keep those boxes and crates around.
VHA boxes and crates provide the best protection for transporting our blades
Our in-house repair station has received many blades shipped back to the facility in various containers, and by far the VHA boxes and crates provide the best protection for transporting our blades. We ship our blades in specially-designed boxes and crates with foam inserts molded or cut to accommodate the shape and twist of our rotor blades. The Bell boxes and inserts just don’t fit our blades due to the difference in these shapes.
Replacement crates can be expensive
Our main rotor blade crates are built in-house out of sturdy wood materials. As a courtesy, VHA used to ship empty crates to customers who needed to ship blades to us for repair but hadn’t kept their crate boxes. But as the post-Covid price of wood skyrocketed, we found that we could no longer afford to ship more than one set of blade boxes to a customer. We still initially ship out new blades in our sturdy crates, but if a customer needs another crate or two for transporting blades because they threw out the first set of crates, we now charge for the extra crate(s) and shipping charge.
Empty main rotor blade crates make great tables
Ok, this one is meant to be a little funny, but it’s not too far from the truth. Our 206L main rotor blade crate dimensions are 17 inches high by 24 inches wide by 18.2 feet long (.43 x .61 x 5.5 meters). The 206B crates are about two feet shorter. Stack two crates on top of each other and the result is almost three feet high, nearly perfect table height. We often drape tablecloths over stacked main rotor blade crates and use them as tables during company parties. Just make sure the VHA logo is visible somehow so you’ll know where your blade crates are when you need them!