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The purpose of this investigation was to determine the root cause of the differences noted in the fatigue test data of main rotor spindle assembly retaining rods fabricated from three different vendors, as part of a Second Source evaluation process. ARL performed dimensional verification, accessed overall workmanship, and measured the respective surface roughness of the rods in an effort to identify any discrepancies. Next, mechanical testing was performed, followed by optical and electron microscopy, and chemical analysis. Finally, ARL performed laboratory heat treatments at the required aging temperature and follow-up mechanical testing.

Helicopter rotor blade components that included...

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