Skip to comments.Sikorsky Rolls Out Heavy-lift CH-53K Helicopter
Posted on 05/09/2014 7:09:13 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
Sikorsky Aircraft rolled out the CH-53K, the U.S. Marine Corps future heavy lift helicopter, on May 5 at the companys West Palm Beach, Fla. facility. According to Sikorsky, the mostly composite helicopterdubbed the King Stallionwill fly by year-end, with operational service expected in 2019.
The rollout of the CH-53K helicopter introduces a new era in Marine Corps aviation, said Sikorsky president Mick Maurer. The clean-sheet CH-53K will effectively triple the external load carrying capacity of the CH-53E aircraftto more than 27,000 pounds over a mission radius of 110 nautical miles. With its 88,000-pound maximum gross weight, powerful new engines, lightweight composite structure, new rotor blades and fly-by-wire flight controls, the CH-53K will have the means to move troops and equipment from ship to shore, and to higher altitude terrain, more quickly and effectively than ever before.
Three 7,500-shp GE Aviation T408 engines power the helicopter, offering 57-percent more horsepower and 20-percent lower specific fuel consumption over the CH-53Es GE T64 turboshaft. To convert the extra engine power into torque and shaft horsepower within a similarly sized main gearbox, Sikorsky developed a new transmission system.
That power is then transferred to the largest and most technologically advanced main rotor blade that Sikorsky has ever produced. Measuring 35 feet in span length and almost three feet in chord width, the all-composite blade has 12 percent more surface area than the CH-53E blade.
Thanks to an airframe built from strong, lightweight composite materials, the CH-53K retains the same external footprint as its predecessora required specification for the helicopter to fit on existing U.S. Navy ship elevatorsbut has a cabin that is 13 inches wider. In the flight deck, a Rockwell Collins digital glass cockpit governs a fly-by-wire flight control system developed by Sikorsky, UTC Aerospace Systems, Eaton and BAE.
According to Sikorsky, the CH-53K is one of the first all-digitally designed helicopters. This approach enabled the company to assemble the aircraft inside a 3-D virtual reality lab at its Stratford, Conn. headquarters before any metal was cut. Our build before you build approach allowed our engineers to work inside the helicopter, said Maurer, to verify assembly designs and correct issues long before discovery and expensive rework on the assembly line.
Last month, Sikorsky began powered ground tests of the CH-53K aircraft systems, such as rotors, drive, electrical, hydraulic, avionics and flight controls. Its ground test vehicle 1 (GTV1) will log some 250 hours of powered ground tests before the CH-53Ks first flight later this year, which will kick off a three-year flight test program. GTV1, which is bolted to the ground at a remote testing area within Sikorskys West Palm Beach facility, will log a total of 900 hours of tests by the end of 2016, after which the airframe will be shipped to China Lake for live weapons testing.
Currently, the USMC has nine CH-53Ks under contract: four engineering development model flight vehicles, GTV1, a static article, a fatigue article and two recently added system demonstration test articles. The USMC intends to order at least 200 CH-53Ks and set up eight operational squadrons and one training squadron.
Sikorsky Aircraft rolled out the CH-53K, the U.S. Marine Corps future heavy lift helicopter, on May 5 at the companys West Palm Beach, Fla. facility. Dubbed the King Stallion, the helicopter will fly by year-end and enter service with the USMC in 2019.
I know what I WANT for Christmas now.....
Finally something smart. This will be doing most of the jobs that the Osprey was designed to do.
50+ year old base design. Not bad.
No it's not. The Osprey was designed to do jobs that the CH-46 did, plus some.
Pretty. Crazy amount of power.
It could be domestically marketed as a really upscale RV.
The Osprey was designed to take the place of the CH-46 Sea Knight. It was never meant to replace the CH-53. The V-22 is a medium lift platform while the CH-53 is a heavy lift aircraft. The Osprey had major production and safety problems early on, but it has become a very good platform for the Marine Corps.
There was a lot of talk of it being the CH-53 replacement.
Your point, that it isn’t a realistic replacement, is noted. But then, that was my point.
See my #10.
I should have said, “slated to do” not “designed to do”.
The lack of a real CH-53 replacement was all the buzz back when funds were going to the Osprey program.
Looks more like 200 new expensive targets for advanced shoulder launched missiles.
Every time I see articles like this one, I shudder, recalling the 1983 Israeli-muslim war, where almost the entire Israeli Sinai armored army of advanced tanks was almost quickly wiped out by dozens of two man teams using advanced Russian anti-tank missiles.
I suspect similar AA missiles are all over the muslim middle east and eastern European sandmaggot areas currently.