Symonds, N. and Pitt, C.
Military helicopters: have the seeds of future accidents already been sown?
In, ICEFA-1: First International Conference on Failure Analysis , Lisbon, PT,
12 - 14 Jul 2004.
Military helicopters provide ideal conditions for the nucleation and propagation of failure damage. Very few modern machines are expected to perform under such diverse loading and environmental conditions. It is often assumed that failures are a direct consequence of these extreme operating conditions. This paper aims to demonstrate that the orig- inating causes of failure can be introduced at any point in the life of a component, including the design, materials pro- cessing, manufacturing or during the service life of the component. Solutions to prevent recurrence of problems cannot be developed without identification of the root cause. Details of four investigations will be presented. Each case study will demonstrate a physical cause residing in an action/inaction occurring during one (or more) of the key life stages of a component, Design, Processing, Manufacture and Service.
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