Oil-out conditions, or conditions
in which an aircraft is
operating without any oil in its
gearbox or transmission, are
devastating for an aircraft's
hardware. Even the sturdiest gears
usually can't last 30 minutes under such
conditions before they catastrophically
fail, and the whole system usually follows shortly after. That doesn't leave pilots with a whole lot of time to find a suitable location to land in the case of an oil-out emergency.
Following is a report on the R&D findings regarding remediation of high-value, high-demand spiral bevel gears for the UH–60 helicopter tail rotor drivetrain. As spiral bevel gears for the UH–60 helicopter are in generally High-Demand due to the needs of new aircraft production and the overhaul and repair of aircraft returning from service, acquisition of new spiral bevel gears in support
of R&D activities is very challenging. To compensate, an assessment was done of a then-emerging superfinishing method—i.e., the micromachining process (MPP)—as a potential repair technique for spiral bevel gears, as well as a way to enhance their performance and durability. The results are described in this paper.