Our current featured sponsor is CSR Incorporated, manufacturer of high-tech and high-performance ropes and lines.
CSR has generously donated a great deal of Vectran rope to the Atlas Human-Powered Helicopter, always with the best customer service we've seen and often with very little notice! Vectran is a liquid-crystal polymer (LCP) fiber with high-strength, high-stiffness, and nearly zero creep under long-term loading. This has been crucial for the helicopter's various uses, which include:
-“Lift Lines” to reduce the bending stress on the rotor spars and decrease tip deflection (keeping them in ground-effect for greater lift)
-“Truss Lines” to bear shear and torsion loads within the lightweight truss structure
-“Bracing Lines” to tie each truss arm to those adjacent
-“Drive Lines” that unwind from the rotor spools and rewind on the drive spools at the pilot, for powering the rotors
Vectran lines have been used at innumerable other locations on the helicopter for attachment hardpoints, lashing, etc.
The centre area of the helicopter, with criss-crossing bracing and frame suspension lines all visible (photo credit Mike Campbell/ckmmphotographic)
CSR's commitment to quality control has been an excellent asset. For each batch of line we were sent, CSR had load test figures that same day! Given that each structural and bracing line on the helicopter is sized for a very particular strength or stiffness, knowing the lines met a precise specification was indispensable for our design team.
The team at CSR serves several interesting markets, and just as excited about the helicopter as we are! For example, for the Mars Curiosity Rover CSR manufactured the high-strength lines for the Parachute Decelerator System used to slow the craft upon descent and entry. They also manufactured the 20m Technora tether which suspended the rover (about as heavy as a small car!) from the rocket-based sky crane system during the final descent stage. That's alot of CSR's rope on Mars!
Founded in 1967 in Sellersville, Pennsylvania, CSR has been making high-performance cordage and ropes for over 45 years. They primarily manufacture parachute lines and cordage for military applications, industrial cordage, search and rescue materials, and custom high-performance braids and ropes for the aerospace industry. A few of the high-tech fibers they braid include Kevlar, Vectran, Spectra, and Twaron.
Thanks again to CSR Incorporated!