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TEKNISKUKEBLAD

January 2, 2012

PAST:
The old test rig for the Bell 412 main transmission had to be anchored to the ground.

The Norwegian Military’s Flying Test Rig Retires
The “homemade” version had a jet engine and a rotor and could, in a worst case scenario, go airborne. The new industrialized version is electric, advanced and safe.
Kjeller, Norway
PER ERLIEN DALLØKKEN

per.dallokken@tu.no We’re talking about the new test rig for the main transmission in Bell 412 helicopters, now in use at LHK, the N o r w e g i a n A i r Fo rc e ’s m a i n workshop in Kjeller. “Other test rigs for this transmission are enormous beasts with water brakes. This is the deluxe

version,” says Kjetil Wang Hansen, road working machine than public Senior Engineer and Head of LHK's transportation. Engine Department. The old test rig had two rotor blades on top, the transmission connected to a T53 gas turbine and The Test Rig Took Off unfortunate technician sitting in its The rig which was previously used to control housing. Although the entire test newly overhauled Bell 412 main rig was anchored to the ground, on at transmissions looked much more least one occasion, it managed to go “homemade”. a bit airborne. It was taken out of It went by the nickname "The service four or five years ago, mainly Bus", but looked more like a custom for EHS reasons.

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which only weighs 300 kg – impressive considering the enormous forces it has to be able to withstand. Stronger Transmission The test rig weighs a total of 8. According to our estimates. has designed. It was delivered in 2010. “With this we use only the power needed to overcome the combined transmission losses.SPECIALIZED INDUSTRY PRESENT: The newly installed test rig is electrically driven. The old test rig wasted a lot of energy due to heat loss and reactionary lifting forces. we would need approximately 130 kW. based in Larvik. and resistance is provided by hydraulic pressure which provides torque and simulates various loads in a 20-step test program lasting approximately three hours. Simulates Load Transtech A/S.” explains Asbjørn Andersen. built and delivered a complete test rig considerably more advanced that its predecessor. and after a few adjustments it is now in service and has completed the testing of three newly overhauled transmissions. Lead Engineer for Transtech A/S. 2 of 3 . and lacking the necessar y testin g equipment over the past few years. An AC motor drives the system.6 tons and simulates the main transmission on the Bell 412. Transtech started building the test rig about three years ago. the Norwegian military began accumulating a considerable number of transmissions in need of testing. Each transmission needs an overhaul after 4000 hours. We consume only about ten percent of the maximum power in the helicopter. but to be on the safe side we installed a 200 kW electric motor. while the new test rig is a closed circuit design based on a "back-to-back" testing principle.

which has the ability to withstand more torque than the SP (Standard Performance). Chairman of the Board for Transtech A/S. Transtech has been delivering transmissions for 32 years. designed for the Bell 412’s tail rotor transmission. Norway has 18 of these helicopters. they deliver both standard products and. all from Transtech A/S. THE HAND OVER: (From L to R) Asbjørn Andersen. the pump maintenance work on Air Force a n d a s m a l l c o m b i n a t i o n equipment. <> 3 of 3 . Norwegian Bell 412 helicopters each deliver an effect of around 1300 hp. was delivered in 1997. all of Norway In mid-December. Currently. are there more customers in this niche market? “Absolutely. at least in theory. The State-Run Company AIM “We have a lot of costly and advanced equipment here. Based in Larvik. transmission have taken their share. offshore and marine industry in addition to land-based equipment. Nils Reidar Skauen. Norway. NH90s and Sea Kings are being approximately 1800 hp is delivered to replaced. as in this case. but our equipment and expertise definitely make us competitive. Thousands of Bell 412s are in service all over the world. A previous rig. and Erling Olsen. Third Test Rig This is the third test rig Transtech has built for the Norwegian military. which was ordered and delivered long before the company was turned into a state-run business.” says Stig Andersen. the HP (High Performance).SPECIALIZED INDUSTRY TEST SUBJECT: The main transmission in a Bell 412 helicopter. The question is. with Kjetil Wang Hansen and Stig Andersen. the Norwegian Air Force’s head maintenance shop Kjeller became a state-run company: AIM Norway (Aerospace Industrial The two PT6 engines on the Maintenance). the Bell 412s are being upgraded with a new main transmission. the company and its 400 employees will have to compete for the actual rotor shaft.” says Nils Reidar Skauen. maintenance assignments. Lead Engineer. Senior Engineer. custom-designed products for the military. but when the F-35s. L H K h a s b e e n p e r fo r m i n g but when the generators. both Senior Engineers at LHK Kjeller. Norway. Chairman of the Board. Senior Project Engineer.