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Apache Helicopters Critical Flaw​​ PDF Print E-mail

The U.S. Army Is Inspecting Its Entire Fleet of Apache Helicopters for a Critical Flaw​​

The faulty part could cause the helicopter rotors to separate in flight.

 
The U.S. Army is inspecting its entire fleet of attack helicopters in an attempt to detect a “critical safety issue.”

The service has detected a number of defective nuts that keep the main rotors attached to the helicopter. The issue has already caused at least one recent accident, which resulted in the death of two pilots.

According to Task & Purpose, the part in question is the strap pack nut, which is “the component that keeps the rotor blades from separating from the airframe.” If you think that sounds extremely important to keeping a helicopter in the air, you’d be right. In December 2016, a strap pack nut on a Texas National Guard AH-64D Apache helicopter failed catastrophically, leading to rotor blade separation. Both aviators onboard died.

The AH-64 Apache helicopter has been the U.S. Army’s main attack chopper for going on four decades now. The Apache has evolved from a dedicated tank killer to a versatile and lethal opponent, providing close air support in Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere. The latest version, the AH-64E Apache Guardian, fields improvements including more powerful General Electric T700 engines, an upgraded transmission, new composite rotor blades, and the Longbow fire control radar.
 
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