BTA Drilling Machine Reduces Weight of Helicopter Drive Shafts

The DeHoff BTA/STS 2084 drilling machine is designed for drilling on-center holes using the BTA/STS process for applications such as the manufacture of drive shafts for helicopter tail rotors.

The DeHoff BTA/STS 2084 drilling machine from Kays Engineering is designed for drilling on-center holes using the BTA/STS process for applications such as the manufacture of drive shafts for helicopter tail rotors. The shaft begins as a solid piece of high-strength alloy steel, and a center hole is drilled in a single pass using the BTA machine. This process results in a weight reduction for the finished drive shaft.

The machine has a 2" (50.8-mm) diameter drilling capacity and an 84" (2,134-mm) drilling depth. It has a single spindle with a 20-hp spindle motor. A four-speed gearbox delivers twice the torque of a standard DeHoff model. The machine can also be offered with slide travels of 36", 60" or 120" (914, 1,524 or 3,048 mm).

The machine features a cast iron drill head base with hardened and ground steel box ways, plus a hand-scraped and fitted saddle, gibs and straps instead of linear guideways and milled surfaces. This is said to damp vibration, extend tool life and improve surface finish.

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