The first application of high-velocity machining (HVM) to a civil helicopter has been pioneered by New Brighton, Minnesota-based Remmele Engineering on Bell Helicopter Textron's new twin-engined Model 427. HVM at 40,000rpm spindle speed has made it possible to form the keelbeam, the primary structural member of the nose, as a monolithic aluminium part, replacing the 50-component/200-fastener sheet metal fabrication used in Bell's single-engined 407. Part assembly time is reduced by 36h, giving a saving of $2,000 per helicopter, says Remmele.

Source: Flight International