Windpower Monthly was given a tour of the facility as the final stages of production were reached of Blade Dynamics' D-78 modular rotor blade, before shipping to the UK for testing.
The prototype blade has been designed for offshore use but, according to Blade Dynamics, it serves as proof of concept for advanced onshore blades too.
Being a test blade, the D78's composite skin surfaces were all unpainted at the time of the factory visit, giving a chance to see details such as the different core materials sandwiched within the structure.
The blade itself consists of four sections from the blade root, with individual lengths of 30, 25, 10 and 13 metres each.
The D78 is being shipped from New Orleans harbour to the UK's Offshore Renewable Energy Centre's research and testing facilities, where it will undergo five months of static and dynamic fatigue testing for type certification.
The full, exclusive technical review is available in Windpower Monthly's July issue or online.
Picture credits: Blade Dynamics unless otherwise stated.