Business

December 5, 2012

Sikorsky delivers first CH-53K prototype heavy lift helicopter to flight test team

Sikorsky has delivered the first CH-53K prototype heavy lift helicopter for ground-based flight tests. The aircraft will triple the U.S. Marine Corps’ external load carrying capacity to more than 27,000 pounds over 110 nautical miles in hot/high conditions.

The Sikorsky team developing the CH-53K heavy lift helicopter for the U.S. Marine Corps has delivered the first prototype aircraft – the Ground Test Vehicle – from the assembly line to the flight test team

The move will enable Sikorsky, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., to prepare and test the GTV aircraft for hundreds of hours of powered ground checks ahead of the four follow-on flight test helicopters that will take to the skies during 2014-15.

“The primary purpose of the GTV is to shake out the CH-53K helicopter’s dynamic systems by thoroughly testing and measuring the performance of the rotor blades, transmission, and engines while the aircraft is tied to the ground,” said Michael Torok, Sikorsky’s CH-53K program vice president. “Extensive ground-based flight checks with Sikorsky and NAVAIR test pilots at the cockpit controls will confirm whether these dynamic systems, as well as hydraulic, electrical, and avionics systems, can meet the requirements established by the Marines for their next-generation heavy lift helicopter.”

Though designed to the same footprint size as the CH-53E Super Stallion™ helicopters they will begin to replace in 2019, CH-53K helicopters will triple the external load carrying capacity to more than 27,000 pounds over 110 nautical miles under “high hot” ambient conditions. Technology enablers for increased lift include 7,500-shaft-horsepower GE38-1B engines; a split torque transmission design that more efficiently distributes engine power to the main rotors; fourth-generation composite rotor blades for enhanced lift; and a composite airframe structure.

Flight test engineers will spend the coming months performing preliminary acceptance tests that include calibrating the GTV’s fuel system and attaching measuring devices at more than 1,300 test locations on the aircraft to record temperature, aerodynamic loads, pressure and vibrations. By mid 2013, the GTV will be attached to a specially built outdoor platform to hold the aircraft in place when its three engines are powered on – a process known as a “light-off.” Initial light-off test events will be performed without rotor blades, followed by more rigorous tests with the blades attached.

“This is an important point of transition for the CH-53K program,” said Col. Robert Pridgen, program manager for the heavy lift helicopters. “I am encouraged by the initial results of our testing at the component and subsystem level. Now we bring it all together. The GTV is our first dynamic system-level integration of those same components. We are looking forward to the sights and sounds these next heavy lifters will bring to the Marine Corps.”

Sikorsky is designing, building and testing the GTV and the four flight aircraft – designated Engineering Development Models – as part of a $3.5 billion System Development and Demonstration contract. Two additional ground test articles are undergoing airframe structural testing at Sikorsky’s main manufacturing plant in Stratford, Conn., as part of the same contract. The aircraft’s major fuselage sections are supplied by Aurora Flight Sciences, ITT Excelis, GKN Aerospace and Spirit Aerosystems.

The prototype assembly line is located at Sikorsky’s Florida Assembly and Flight Operations facility in West Palm Beach. Ground and flight testing will occur at the Developmental Flight Center on the same Florida campus.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
LM-C5

Double Deuce

A U.S. Air Force crew ferried the 22nd C-5M Super Galaxy from the Lockheed Martin facilities in Marietta, Ga., Aug. 25. Aircraft 86-0011 was ferried by a crew led by Maj. Gen. Dwyer L. Dennis, Director, Global Reach Programs, O...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

First ever RQ-4 Global Hawk hits 100th flight on NASA mission

Northrop Grumman photograph A historical look at the first Global Hawk (AV1) during its maiden flight over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Feb. 28, 1998. AV1 has made history again with its 100th flight in support of NASA en...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s CIRCM system completes U.S. Army flight testing

Northrop Grumman’s Common Infrared Countermeasures system recently completed another round of U.S. Army testing by demonstrating its capabilities on a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. The flight test was conducted at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., by the Redstone Test Center. The Northrop Grumman CIRCM system was subjected to rigorous conditions over a six-week period, after...
 

 

USSOCOM signs a five-year framework contract for the Carl-Gustaf weapon system

Defense and security company Saab has signed a new framework contract with the U.S. Special Operations Command for the company’s Carl-Gustaf man-portable weapon system (in the U.S. named MAAWS; Multi-role, Anti-armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System). The contract is a follow on agreement to a previous five-year contract for the 84mm recoilless rifle system. In connection with...
 
 

RQ-4 Global Hawk demonstrates expanded mission capabilities

With several test flights this summer, the U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk Wide Area Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System proved its ability to operate with an expanded variety of intelligence exploitation ground stations and collect mission data in more places. The RQ-4 Global Hawk UAS is built by Northrop Grumman and is equipped with a...
 
 
boeing-jordan

Boeing celebrates delivery of Royal Jordanian’s first 787 Dreamliner

  Boeing and Royal Jordanian Aug. 27 celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 787 Dreamliner. The airplane will play a central role in the Amman-based airline’s strategic plan for fleet modernization. Roy...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>