SAFETY & SURVIVABILITY
The AVX team has significant experience providing survivability with a range of rotorcraft including the Bell-Boeing V-22, Bell AH-1Z, Bell UH-1Y and Bell OH-58D. The Bell OH-58D/AVX retains the airframe survivability of the Kiowa Warrior. The existing armor protection for the crew, engine and fuel controls will be maintained.
The main rotor hubs and blades for the OH-58/AVX are of all composite laminated construction designed to withstand ballistic impacts equal to the system on the current OH-58D helicopter, which has proven to absorb hits by small arms fire up to .50 Cal without catastrophic failure.
The OH-58D/AVX helicopter shall be capable of operation in adverse conditions such as extreme heat and cold (-40 to +40 degrees C), IFR meteorological flight conditions (including rain and inadvertent light icing), blowing sand and dusty landing zones, and salt water environment. The engine will utilize the same air filtration system as the Engine Barrier Filter (EBF) on the OH-58D helicopter. The laminated composite main rotor hubs and blades will have similar ballistic tolerance to the OH-58D rotor system. The rotor blades will incorporate a leading edge abrasion strip to minimize wear during flight in rain, sand and dust, and the composite material will be immune to the affects of operation in a salt water environment.
The drive system and rotating controls have been designed with sealed bearings to minimize intrusion by foreign particles and thereby provide for long life and safe operation in any type hostile environment where military operations may be conducted.