Curtiss-Wright (Booth No. 1855) of Parsippany, N.J., announced yesterday at Heli-Expo 2011 that it has received a contract from Sikorsky Aircraft to develop and supply blade-fold distributor units and digital air-data computers for the OEM’s CH-53K Super Stallion, a heavy-lift redesign and upgrade of the CH-53E for the U.S. Marine Corps.
CH-53 Sea Stallion
Donaldson has delivered the first full-scale engine air particle protection system (EAPPS) to Sikorsky for the CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter destined to achieve initial operating capability (IOC) with the U.S. Marines in 2018. Qualification testing of the EAPPS will begin in May.
The Sikorsky CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter program this week achieved “ready to load” condition with the successful light-off of its first auxiliary power unit (APU). The program will be ready to begin formal integration testing early next year.
Boeing and Eurocopter have agreed to cooperate on a future transport helicopter (FTH) and at the ILA Berlin Air Show both companies displayed a tandem-rotor concept that resembles an enlarged CH-47 Chinook. The fuselage would be 66 feet long and 12 feet wide, enabling the internal carriage of armored vehicles. Both France and Germany have requirements for a next-generation heavy-lift helicopter, and a NATO staff target is being developed.
Germany’s MTU Aero Engines has taken an 18 percent stake in the GE38 turboshaft engine powering the Sikorsky CH-53 Super Stallion heavylift helicopter, marking its first entry into a U.S. military engine program. Under the agreement, MTU, which has previously manufactured components only for U.S. military engines, will have responsibility for the power turbine module.
Nobody beats the Russians when it comes to rotorcraft “bigness.” Mil unveiled the Mi-12 in 1971 and later hoisted a record-setting 44 tons to more than 7,000 ft with the massive (115-ton mtow) twin-rotor helo.
More recently, since its introduction in 1981, the Russian-made Mil Mi-26 has reigned supreme as the heaviest cargo-lifting production rotorcraft, routinely hoisting loads weighing up to 22 tons.
When it comes to selling helicopters for one of the leading helo makers, it’s difficult to find a job that Jeff Pino hasn’t done. In his 17 years with Bell, he was vice president of sales and marketing, executive director for Europe, director for Latin America and regional manager for South America.
Sikorsky is confident its upgraded medium twin, the S-76D, will make its first flight in the fourth quarter of next year, said Bruce McKinney, v-p for Europe. Sikorsky engineers are building the all-composite blades for the main rotor. Pratt & Whitney Canada has been running three PW210S development engines. Wind-tunnel tests have been performed to check engine inlet icing.
Israel’s Elbit Systems (Chalet A332) has won contracts to supply its aviator’s night vision imaging system/head-up display (ANVIS/HUD) for the helicopters of two more as yet undisclosed NATO countries.
Sikorsky last month opened a 25,000-sq-ft Design Engineering Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Workers at the center will conduct dynamic systems design and avionics integration. According to Mark Miller, Sikorsky vice president for engineering, work at this facility will initially support the military CH-53K heavy-lift program. The facility will also support Sikorsky’s future growth needs.
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