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169019 Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion c/n bu.169019 - U.S.Marine Corps - Berlin-Brandenburg Airport in Germany - 25 April 2018 Sikorsky S-92A PH-EUI

The Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion is three-engined, heavy-lift helicopter developed by Sikorsky Aircraft for the United States Marine Corps (USMC). The CH-53K Sea Stallion It is a further development of the CH-53 Sea Stallion series, part of the Sikorsky S-65 family of heavy-lift transport helicopters. Originally developed for use by the United States Marine Corps, the CH-53 entered also service with Germany, Iran, Israel, and Mexico. The United States Air Force operated the HH-53 "Super Jolly Green Giant" during the late– and post–Vietnam-War era, updating most of them as the MH-53 Pave Low. The CH-53K is a general redesign helicopter with new engines and cockpit layout. The design has a wider aircraft cabin than previous CH-53 variants and new composite rotor blades. The CH-53K is powered by three 7.500 shp General Electric T408 (GE38-1B) engines and is able to fly 20 knots faster than its CH-53E predecessor. The CH-53K can carry a 12.200 kg external load over 204 km in high/hot conditions at an altitude of 914m, which is more than triple the external load carrying capacity of the CH-53E aircraft. In combat, the CH-53K has a crew of five, next to the two pilots, one crew chief/right gunner, one left gunner and one tail gunner. The aircraft has a payload of 15.900 kg and can transport fifty five troops with centerline seats installed. The USMC plans to operate 200 helicopters and Lockheed Martin hopes to sell the CH-53K to Germany as a replacement for their outdated CH-54G helicopters. Developmenmt of the CH-53K King Stallion started in 2011. Next to four YCH-53K Engineering Development Models: Bu. No. 168778/168781 (EDM-1/EDM-4), three ground testmachines without serials were used: Fatigue Test Vehicle (FTV-1); Ground Test Vehicle (GTV-1) and Static Test Vehicle (STV-1). Ground Test Vehicle (GTV) testing started in April 2014. Four CH-53K King Stallion 'System Demonstration Test Article Engineering Development Model' prototypes BuNo. 169019/169022 (SDTA-1/SDTA-4) are involved in the test-program. On 27 October 2015, flight testing of the CH-53K King Stallion began with the first flight of CH-53K BuNo. 169019 (STDA-1). On 16 May 2018, Sikorsky delivered the first CH-53 King Stallion helicopter to the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). This first CH-53K heavy lift helicopter for the Marine Corps' fleet was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

On 27 October 2015, the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion (SDTA-1) System Demonstration Test Article Engineering Development Model–1, Bu. No. 169019, was flown first at West Palm Beach, Florida. During the 30 minute flight, the new helicopter demonstrated sideward rearward and forward flight while remaining in in-ground-effect hover. Since the helicopter has flown several hours in the test-program. In April 2018, the 169019 was flown as air cargo to Germany to be presented by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, at the ILA Berlin Air Show 2018. On 12 April, the helicopter was flown first outside the US at Holzdorf Air Base, Germany. On 25 April 2018, the U.S.Marine Corps CH-54K Sea Stalion 169019 was seen during King Stallion's public international debut at the ILA Berlin Air Show at Berlin-Brandenburg / Willy Brandt International Airport.

page last updated: 18-05-2018
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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