The Boeing Company and Derlan Aerospace of Canada have signed an agreement to develop components for a revolutionary new transmission for the AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters produced by Boeing.
The agreement calls for Derlan to work with Boeing to develop "split-torque" face gear technology that will be used in the new transmission. Derlan will manufacture the face gears using a Boeing-patented continuous grinding process. Boeing has been working on the technology for several years and now considers it ready for a proof of concept demonstration.
When carried through full development, the resulting transmission will have significantly reduced operating, support and acquisition costs, weigh less, and be capable of transferring more horsepower from the helicopter's twin-turbine engines to its rotor system. The transmission technology also would be adaptable to other aerospace industry applications.
Derlan will develop special grinding machines based on Boeing designs, and will design and produce a test stand to validate the performance of the transmission. Current schedules call for initial testing to begin within three years. Once a production decision is reached, Derlan will be the principal subcontractor for the new transmission.