Ducommun wins $15.5 million rotor blade contract

The follow-on contract is for the fabrication and delivery of advanced composite main rotor blades for the S-61 helicopter. The blades are sold by Carson Helicopter as part of a blade upgrade package.

Ducommun Inc. (Los Angeles, Calif.) announced on Oct. 27 that its Ducommun AeroStructures Inc. (DAS) subsidiary has been awarded a follow-on contract for the fabrication and delivery of advanced composite main rotor blades for the S-61 helicopter. The composite main rotor blades are used and sold by Carson Helicopter as part of an upgrade package that provides the end user with additional payload, speed and range on the same fuel capacity. Ducommun AeroStructures has already produced more than 325 composite main rotor blades since 2004. The value of the follow-on contract is approximately $15.5 million beginning in 2009. The follow-on will permit Carson Helicopter to support its growing fleet of fire-fighting helicopters as well as existing and emerging requirements for commercial and military applications. All work will be performed at DAS’s Monrovia, Calif., facility.

Joseph C. Berenato, chairman and CEO of Ducommun, stated, “We are pleased to have been selected to support Carson Helicopter on this follow-on contract which reaffirms our ability to support our customers with concurrent engineering, manufacturing and assembly capabilities on start-up programs. We believe the Carson blade to be the only all-composite helicopter blade being manufactured by a company other than an original equipment manufacturer. Our long-term involvement with manufacturing helicopter components and assemblies, including the Apache helicopter main and tail rotor blades has provided DAS with the experience to support Carson in the launch of this all-composite main rotor blade. DAS will continue to seek additional opportunities in the helicopter blade marketplace.”

Ducommun AeroStructures manufactures large, complex structural components and assemblies in aluminum, specialty alloys such as titanium, metal bond and composites for a wide variety of military and commercial aerospace applications.