Airwolf Aerospace LLC. is marketing its FAA-certified (STC) blade tape kits as a protective measure against blade skin delamination on Robinson R22 and R44 helicopter main rotor blades. The FAA recently issued a second Airworthiness Directive (AD 2011-12-10) on all Robinson helicopters.
In 2007, Robinson Helicopter Co. issued service alerts SB-72 and SB-103 advising owners that some main rotor blade skins were prone to debonding at the skin-to-spar joint on the lower surface of the blade tips, causing the aircraft to compromise its airworthiness. Debonding can occur when the bond line is exposed due to excessive erosion of the blade finish, or when corrosion occurs on the internal aluminium tip cap.
This most recent AD revisits a 2007 directive, which instructs Robinson R22 and R44 operators to inspect main-rotor blades for possible defects before each flight. Airwolf addressed this through its Alternative Method Of Compliance (AMOC), a certified blade tape that overlaps the skin and leading edge, obviating the need for recurrent inspections and lap-joint painting.