I do not know if any folding mast units are in the United States
Its not an Aluminum rotor. Its a carbon fiber composite rotorI’m surprised that anyone would use a steel balance rod on an aluminum rotor blade; the coefficient of thermal expansion being so different. Brass is OK, it expands at about the same rate as aluminum as temperature increases.
That is good insight to have Chris. Thank youYes - as stated by Abid - full pre-preg carbon composite rotor.
Original design#1 had leading edge balance weight of a stick of lead-shot encased in resin. first 10 rotors produced (It was fragile & awkward to handle in the lay-up process) - so the sub-contracted composite company building TAG rotors "expert engineers" -proposed the dual long steel rod replacement. #2! About 30 rotors were made this way!
It is suspected a new hire tasked to clean & etch the rods prior to lay-up in the leading edge adhesive bed did not prepare the rods properly and was not cross checked! Two blades made that day are suspected to be defective in use and likely failed causing two deadly tragic accidents.
All other #2 design blades tested , checked , ( non-Australian ones were modified) - have proven to have absolutely solid rod adherence to the surrounding matrix. ALA ...they were impossible to pull out, drive out or move in any way!
Neil did not like the composite engineer's solution #2 to the lay-up issues ... so during the production period of the "steel-rod-balance rotor blades". he re-designed the lead-shot version #3 with the lead encased in a long open weave carbon "sock"...that was easy to insert & the resin was poured in to secure the "sock"!
In the time period of the accidents - the blade version #3 was already in production & all the more recent TAG gyros have this rotor!
TAG Aviation have now relocated their rotor blade manufacturing equipment & skills to their HQ shop and now has FULL ..in-house control over blade production!