If the U.S. Army decides on a further round of major upgrades for its Boeing AH-46 Apache and Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters before replacing them with advanced rotorcraft, it will almost certainly look at fitting them with active rotor systems for increased performance. Today’s fixed-blade geometry—twist, chord and sweep—is a compromise between hover and cruise performance. For decades, industry has studied active rotors that can change geometry, but previous ...

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