Flight tests continue for the CH-53K King Stallion of the US Navy –VIDEO

Flight tests continue for the CH-53K King Stallion of the US Navy –VIDEO

Sikorsky announced it has installed the main rotor to the helicopter's fuselage for ground tests. The test in full aray of the new helicopter is scheduled for the end of April

The tests on the CH-53K King Stallion, Sikorsky’s new military helicopter for the US Navy, continue. The American company announced it has successfully installed the main rotor blades to the ground test vehicle, the aircraft used for ground tests. The next step is to assemble the tail rotor blades.

In the video: First ignition for the CH-53K

It’s another step forward for tests involving the US Navy’s new heavy transport helicopter, the heir of the popular CH-53E. Tests are currently being carried out in a specific area near Sikorsky’s facility in West Palm Beach, Florida. They will continue for another two years and will take place under a joint collaboration between the American firm and the US Navy, launch customer and main user of the helicopter. Current tests are essential for the helicopter’s maiden flight, scheduled by the end of 2014.

‘By the end of the month, we’ll test the aircraft in its full array, using General Electrics 38-1B engines – explained Michael Torok, vice-president of Sikorsky’s program-. Everything is proceeding according to plans, we’ll definitely be able to respect our timetable’.

THE OPERATORS

Exclusively designed for the US Marines, the CH-53K might also raise the interest of other clients. According to Sikorsky, Germany and Israel are interested in the new helicopter and have made a survey on the other Asian countries. However, Sikorsky’s real interest in exports will become true only after its new helicopter’s maiden flight.

ITS FEATURES

From the technical point of view, the CH-53K is powered by three General Electrics turboshaft engines and has a maximum takeoff weight of 39.900 kg. The helicopter is able to transport an external load of more than 12.200 kg for a range of 204 km, three times more than its predecessor, the CH-53E Super Stallion.

The US Defence Department intends to purchase 200 models and make them operate in 2019. Its main goal is to have eight teams of CH-53K plus one team for training and one reserve team.

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