Tag Archives: CH-53

Fassberg Flyers

The future of German army aviation. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
The future of German army aviation. (Image © Dennis Spronk)

Last weekend, AIRheads↑FLY took the Autobahn to Bremen, traveled a bit more through some German woods, came across some villages and finally ended up in a large place with lots of helicopters. That place is Fassberg, home of Transporthubschrauberregiment 10, flying NH Industries NH90 helicopters and good ol’ Bell Hueys. And what coincidence, at September 7th Fassberg was home to the Aerospace Day 2013.

German? Mais non, this is a French EC665 Tigre helicopter. Fassberg is home to the Franco-German training facility for the Tigre. That explains all. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
German? Mais non, this is a French EC665 Tigre helicopter. Fassberg is home to the Franco-German training facility for the Tigre. That explains all! (Image © Dennis Spronk)
As German as a Volkswagen; a Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo105. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
As German as a Volkswagen; a Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo105. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
During the Aerospace Day, a small flying display was held. This NH90 was part of it. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
During the Aerospace Day, a small flying display was held. This NH90 was part of it. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
HEER, it says on the tail of this NH90. That basically means Army Aviation Corps. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
HEER, it says on the tail of this NH90. That basically means Army Aviation Corps. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
A true workhorse, the Sikorsky - but made in Germany - CH-53G. The Germans ordered 110 of these things in the late sixties. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
A true workhorse, the Sikorsky – but made in Germany – CH-53G. The Germans ordered 110 of these things in the late sixties. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
A Tigre. Or actually; only half a Tigre. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
A Tigre. Or actually; only half a Tigre. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Spacy helmet at Aerospace Day 2013 at Fassberg. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Spacy helmet at Aerospace Day 2013 at Fassberg. (Image © Dennis Spronk)

© 2013 AIRheads’ Dennis Spronk

Sikorsky builds four CH-53Ks

The Sikorsky CH-53K Ground Test Vehicle (Image © Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.)
The Sikorsky CH-53K Ground Test Vehicle (Image © Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.)

Sikorsky received a $435 million to build four production-representative CH-53K heavy-lift helicopters for the US Marine Corps. Designated as System Demonstration Test Articles (SDTA), the four aircraft will enable the Marines to conduct operational evaluation of the new helicopter system in support of Initial Operational Capability in 2019.

The contract schedule requires that Sikorsky deliver the first SDTA aircraft in 39 months, and the fourth by the end of March 2017, when the Marines will begin operational evaluation. Sikorsky will perform final assembly of the SDTA aircraft at the company’s Florida Assembly and Flight Operations facility in West Palm Beach.

To date, Sikorsky has delivered two of the seven SDD CH-53K aircraft – the Ground Test Vehicle and the Static Test Article – into the test program, and is finalizing assembly of the four flight test aircraft and the Fatigue Test Article. First flight of a CH-53K prototype aircraft is expected in late 2014.

Once the SDTA aircraft enter operational evaluation in 2017, the Marine Corps will verify the CH-53K helicopter’s capability to carry 27,000 pounds over 110 nautical miles under “high hot” ambient conditions, nearly tripling the external load carrying capacity of the current CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter.

Technology enablers for increased lift include three 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 for reduced weight.

Per the current program of record, the Navy intends to order an additional 196 CH-53K aircraft as part of a separate production contract to stand up eight operational squadrons and one training squadron to support the Marine Corps’ operational requirements. Eventual production quantities would be determined year-by-year over the life of the program based on funding allocations set by Congress and the U.S. Department of Defense acquisition priorities.

Source: Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.