CH-53K Heavy Transport in Helicopter Carrier Tests

  • Our Bureau
  • 04:08 PM, August 12, 2020
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CH-53K Heavy Transport in Helicopter Carrier Tests

The CH-53K King Stallion heavy transport helicopter completed tests on a US Navy helicopter carrier at the end of June 2020.

The test, which took place over around 14 days in the Atlantic Ocean, included taking off and landing from various deck positions by day and night under severe weather conditions, testing the automatic rotor folding system and various compatibility tests on board.

The transport helicopter from Sikorsky, has thus reached one of the last milestones on the way to the upcoming relocation by the US Marine Corps.

The CH-53K King Stallion heavy transport helicopter successfully completed a comprehensive series of tests on a US Navy helicopter carrier at the end of June 2020. The test, which took place over around 14 days in the Atlantic Ocean, included taking off and landing from various deck positions by day and night under severe weather conditions, testing the automatic rotor folding system and various compatibility tests on board. The transport helicopter from Sikorsky, which belongs to Lockheed Martin, has thus reached one of the last milestones on the way to the upcoming relocation by the US Marine Corps. With the CH-53K, the US helicopter manufacturer is also taking part in the Bundeswehr's current tender for “heavy transport helicopters” (STH).

From the beginning of June, the aircraft completed a total of more than 360 take-offs and landings on the helicopter carrier (Landing Helicopter Dock - LHD) USS Wasp at sea. The helicopter was flown in a wide variety of wind conditions. In addition, it was towed onto deck and into the maintenance hangar and secured in different sea conditions using various anchoring methods. During this period, the maintenance crew of the CH-53K on board checked the feasibility of various routine maintenance activities to ensure flight operations.

Bill Falk, Director of the CH-53K program at Sikorsky, said “The CH-53K has clearly proven itself during its first trials at sea and in carrying out more than 360 take-offs and landings. The aircraft is thus one step closer to its relocation. "

The US Marine Corps plans to begin operational testing and preparation of the CH-53K in 2021 and to deploy the helicopter for the first time in 2023/24. After successful in-flight refueling tests and tests under poor visibility conditions (DVE), the most recent tests at sea have shown that the helicopter's test program is proceeding as planned. In the coming weeks, further flights with vehicles and heavy equipment as internal and external loads will be carried out at high altitudes and at high temperatures (“hot & high”).

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