Gear Technology Magazine

Northstar Aerospace Receives Contract for New Drive System Development

August 30, 2007

Northstar Aerospace was awarded a $4.5 million development contract from The Boeing Co. for its Enhanced Rotor Rotorcraft Drive System (ERDS), a joint program with The Boeing Co. and U.S. Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate. 

The ERDS program focuses on developing new drive system technologies to improve the performance of the U.S. Army’s current and future force fleet of rotorcraft, including the AH-64D Apache Longbow and CH-47 Chinook.

Northstar will provide Boeing with design support, fabrication and validation testing of critical drive system technologies such as face gearing to improve power-to-weight ratio and reduce noise.  

The two companies are also collaborating on development of a transmission using face gear technology for the U.S. Army’s Block III AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter modernization program. According to the company’s press release, the Block III will be the first aerospace application of the transmission technology. The transmission uses face gears in a split-torque design facilitating more horsepower without the penalty of added weight.