Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion Heavy Lift Replacement (HLR)

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Sikorsky CH-53K Completes Critical Flight Envelope Expansion with 36,000-pound External Lift

Published on Mar 7, 2018

The Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion completed an external lift of a 36,000-pound payload at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center, achieving a maximum weight on the single center point cargo hook. Learn more: http://lmt.co/2FoXH3f
 

Adventurer104

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While we’re here. Can someone point me to details on angling the rear rotar down to increase lift.
I’ve only seen a casual mention, not a detailed explanation suitable for a tired old retired cop.
Thanks in advance!
 

marauder2048

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TomS said:
It is. I can't find a folded pic of the King Stallion anywhere. I mean, they must have folded the beast by this point in testing.

I did find one rendering.

Getting closer...
 

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fightingirish

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CH-53K Heads to ILA Berlin | Time-Lapse
In collaboration with the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), Sikorsky is bringing the CH-53K helicopter to ILA Berlin Air Show. This historic milestone marks the King Stallion’s international debut, and the very first time this heavy lifter will display its capability to the German public.
See how we got the King Stallion to the show in this video!
Video:
View: https://youtu.be/uQbCkQMxXIg
 
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AeroFranz

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Does anyone know whether the German CH-53s had retained the power folding features? I mean, there's a lot of weight that goes into the actuators. I guess it's useful when you're trying to get inside a cargo plane, but that could probably be achieved manually given how infrequent that happens...
 

TomS

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AeroFranz said:
Does anyone know whether the German CH-53s had retained the power folding features? I mean, there's a lot of weight that goes into the actuators. I guess it's useful when you're trying to get inside a cargo plane, but that could probably be achieved manually given how infrequent that happens...

They kept it in the CH-53G. Here's a video showing the fold mechanism in action:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hxt5mINVLc
 

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Here she is, my photos first prodcution a/c making its first international debut ...mid week at ILA,


cheers


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Marine Corps receives first CH-53K King Stallion

May 16, 2018 |
Justin Katz



The Marine Corps today received the first CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter at Marine Corps Air Station New River, NC, according to a service statement.

The service will begin an assessment on the maintenance, sustainment and overall aviation logistics support of the aircraft in a supportability test plan, the statement said.

Designated System Demonstration Test Article 3, the aircraft will not fly for the government as a regular asset until summer 2019.

CH-53K prime contract Sikorsky expects to deliver the second helicopter in early 2019, according to a company statement.

The King Stallion is the replacement for the CH-53E Super Stallion and is expected to carry three times the load of its predecessor. The first eight aircraft of the program of record -- which will purchase 200 helicopters -- are under contract with some of those aircraft scheduled to be delivered this year. The service will transition to eight active duty squadrons, one training squadron and one reserve squadron to support operational requirements.

"I am very proud of the work accomplished to deliver the most powerful helicopter ever designed into the hands of our Marines," said Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder, deputy commandant for aviation. "And confident in the teamwork and dedication in this program which will carry us to [initial operational capability]."

The Marine Corps expects the CH-53K to reach initial operational capability in December 2019.
 

GWrecks

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Someone told me that the King Stallion's rotor hub alone weighs one ton.

I find that impressive, though I'm not certain it's true.
 

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Not related directly to the King but still could stain any future sales prospect (I wonder if this has any relation with the recent swap at the head of LM).
Investigators found that the initial fire was caused by disintegration of a power relay in the left engine.

“Despite the fact that this malfunction had been identified by the manufacturer, the information was never passed along to the air force,” the IAF said in a statement. “The investigation team also found that the air force’s maintenance procedures did not find the malfunction in the relay.”

 

yasotay

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Lockheed or Boeing, both paragon's of virtue when it comes to informing customers of faults.
 

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uk 75

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I am a great fan of the German Army CH53s after buying the pair shown below in 1/100 scale complete with infantry and Kraka light vehicles in a Munich Toyshop back in the 70s when the poor old RAF kept being stopped from getting CH47s.
Didnt expect them to still be soldiering on in the 21st C and assumed some snazzy Eurocopter would have replaced them by now.
 

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TomcatViP

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View: https://youtu.be/LasNJ0xTOPw

But for now, the core point is simple – the K needs to come into the USMC-Navy team as soon as possible to enable the shift in concepts of operations required to deal with the new strategic environment.

And if the CH-53K became part of the joint team, the question of cost is very manageable.

By producing more aircraft, the cost curve comes down. And shaping a more effective cost curve is a significant challenge which the program is addressing.


 

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Lt. Col. Fred “NOVAC” Neubert, department head and government lead test pilot for the CH-53K program, agreed with Foxton’s assessment. “There may be other aircraft out there with similar performance capabilities, but I have not flown a helicopter with the outstanding handling qualities that the 53K provides,” Neubert said.

The aircraft performed so well, in fact, that the test team succeeded in testing nearly all of the aircraft’s launch and recovery envelope expansion — the team’s primary test objective — within the first seven days of the trip, leaving the second week to thoroughly pursue the other objectives. As a result, the test team was able to devote more time to identifying refinements and minor improvements to suggest to the manufacturer than it otherwise would have had. Foxton recalled how, during one post-flight debriefing, one of the team’s veteran flight engineers pointed out, “Do you realize we just spent 15 minutes talking about whether we could improve the windshield wipers?”

“We were able to focus on those little things because the big things took care of themselves,” Foxton said.
 

fightingirish

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German defense spending has one wondering if Germans prefer (P)russia to D-land. Do Germans hate NATO more than they care for their chilldren?..some deal could have been worked out.
My sources at the Bundeswehr say, that the costs of this competition were nearly four times more as than for other NATO countries. I haven't got the figures, but a lot of military aviation expertes are comparing it to the Dutch Chinook procurement.
 

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The current STH project/competition of the Bundeswehr is cancelled to expensive

German defense spending has one wondering ....some deal could have been worked out.

The german MoD still wants to replace the current CH-53 fleet with a new helicopter by 2030. So only the current project is cancelled there will be a new one.
 
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jsport

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At this point it would be great if a Euro HTH from scatch would emerge to press tech dev.
 

fredymac

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An all new heavy transport helicopter in service by 2030 at a cost lower than the CH53K? A joint modernized Mil-26 with German engines/transmission/avionics is the only thing that might cost less and meet that schedule.
 

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I have the feeling that you are asking for the devil. High power transmission is where Euro designs have failed so dramatically...

Mil26 today don't seem to wait for any European engineering magics...
 
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jsport

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Similar story:

He argued the Defence Ministry had been naive in its approach to the much-needed acquisition. “A new competition alone won’t solve that problem,” he said.

Cant beleive I agree w/ a Green but he is correct, what might start a path for EADS, is a board member publicly exclaiming that EADS will introduce a profit motive into their military engineering infrastructure. Engineers that perform are rewarded, potentially handsomely, and others who dont perform get layed off.
 

riggerrob

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German Air Force ... executives demanding guarantees of number of operational readiness ....

These cost increases reflect a radically new style of accounting, similar to the new style of accounting that has driven up the cost of F-35 purchases.

Instead of the old system of barely scrapping together enough dollars/deutschmarks/euros to purchase a fleet of flying machines, now gov't bean-counters want estimates of the entire cost of a fleet ... over a 40-year period!
These new estimates must include purchase cost, fuel cost, man-power costs, spare parts, overhaul costs, air crew training costs, storage, hangaring, groung support equipment, etc.

This reminds me of a conversation with a fellow CF-18 technician who got posted to Canadian National Defence Headquarters and was assigned to order new spare parts for the RCAF P-3 Aurora program. He reviewed US Navy statistics and concluded that the RCAF would need 100 nose wheels per year. His boss was horrified and told him to only order 25 nose-wheels .... "But! But! But!"
"Don't worry" his boss replied "When we run out of nose-wheels, there are emergency and flight-safety funds available to buy enough nose-wheels to keep the fleet flying."

Gov't civilian accountants are tired of that style of accounting and want to hear realistic estimates of the total cost of flying a fleet for 40 years.
 

riggerrob

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While we’re here. Can someone point me to details on angling the rear rotar down to increase lift.
I’ve only seen a casual mention, not a detailed explanation suitable for a tired old retired cop.
Thanks in advance!

H-60 Blackhawk uses a similar titled tail rotor to contribute a bit more lift. I forget the exact numbers, but the tail rotor only provides about 10 percent more lift. The extra tail rotor lift comes in really handy when cargo is not properly balanced (e.g. with 3 cargo hooks) and the tail rotor relieves pitch trim loads on the main rotor. When you are flying close to the edge of the envelope (e.g. high and hot in Afghan mountains), every little bit of extra lift comes in handy.
 

riggerrob

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Does anyone know whether the German CH-53s had retained the power folding features? I mean, there's a lot of weight that goes into the actuators. I guess it's useful when you're trying to get inside a cargo plane, but that could probably be achieved manually given how infrequent that happens...

I doubt if Bundeswher CH-53Ds retain power-fold mechanisms, but they can probably still manually fold. Removing power fold actuators reduces empty weight by a few hundred pounds/kilograms, freeing up lift capacity for more fuel or more poor bloody infantry.

In comparison, the Royal Canadian Navy always folded Sikorsky Sea Kings even when storing them in hangars ashore because a folded helicopter only needs about 1/3 the floor space.
OTOH Even though they were purchased a couple of decades after Canada retired our last aircraft carrier, CF-18 Hornet fighters retained all the wing-fold and carrier-related launch equipment because they were so deeply integrated with software. It would have been impossible for the RCAF to simply deleted carrier-specific components without hopelessly confusing flight computers. We usually folded wings before stowing in concrete hangars because folding helped reduce floor space.

Too bad McDonnel-Douglas never perfected the promised CF-18L with simplified landing gear, non-folding wings, etc. A lighter and simpler airframe would have saved: Australia, Finland, Spain, Switzerland, etc. millions of gallons/litres of fuel and umpteen million dollars/euros, etc. in spare parts.
 

marauder2048

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Instead of the old system of barely scrapping together enough dollars/deutschmarks/euros to purchase a fleet of flying machines, now gov't bean-counters want estimates of the entire cost of a fleet ... over a 40-year period!

Where did you get 40 years? I ask because the number that was previously floating around was 30 years which
is consistent with the CH-53K SAR and closish the CH-47 Block II SAR.
 

riggerrob

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Sorry dude.
My inaccurate "40 years" came from an old memory.
Keep in mind that the Canadian Sea King helicopter and CC-130 Hercules fleets served for 50-ish years.
Gov't accountants hate "surprise" requests for emergency funding to keep fleets flying.
 

Colonial-Marine

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Too bad McDonnel-Douglas never perfected the promised CF-18L with simplified landing gear, non-folding wings, etc. A lighter and simpler airframe would have saved: Australia, Finland, Spain, Switzerland, etc. millions of gallons/litres of fuel and umpteen million dollars/euros, etc. in spare parts.
I thought that international operators of the F/A-18 went with the navalized variant because the "up front" cost was a bit cheaper? I'd imagine the land-based variant would have saved money in the long run however.
 

DWG

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Cant beleive I agree w/ a Green but he is correct, what might start a path for EADS, is a board member publicly exclaiming that EADS will introduce a profit motive into their military engineering infrastructure. Engineers that perform are rewarded, potentially handsomely, and others who dont perform get layed off.

This is a classic example of why 'blame the engineers' is rarely a solution. What the reports make clear is that the project suffered the death of a thousand requirement-creep cuts that pushed an affordable requirement to non-affordable*. And there's nothing the engineers on the ground can do to fix that. Often enough it's not even clear whether the requirements are achievable until you've done significant work. So if you put your best engineer on a pie-in-the-sky requirement, and it turns out to be unachievable, do you really want to kick them out the door?

* I suspect the definition of affordable vs non-affordable has also shifted given the massive unplanned-for coronavirus expenditure, STH may simply be the first of many projects to be axed over the next couple of years.
 

sferrin

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IIRC nobody was willing to spring for development.
 
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