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Old 11th Feb 2019, 00:49
  #83 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: HKG
Posts: 16
Originally Posted by Willard Whyte View Post
With 27,000 lbs of kit slung underneath. One would hope the mission radius is a little more when not carrying so much stuff...
That "short" mission radius is while carrying a 27,000-lb LAV. And I believe that this is at ISA+15 or 20C and even delivering to a certain altitude of a few thousand feet at least. The mission radius with 55 pax (assuming 200 lbs/pax) would therefore be about 180 nm. That's what it was designed to do. The normal (VFR) range (roughly 2 x ROA) of the CH-53E was about 450 nm and the MH-53E about 625 nm as I recall.

The Navy could have given it more fuel like the MH-53E (~22,500 lbs if I remember correctly) but its just not needed often. When they need to they can always just call in a KC-130 for AAR refuleling. I do recall someone in my squadron "inadvertently" lifting a 39k lb load once (steel ship cradle I believe) in bay of Siracusa. 53A-D were superb, 53E's performed awesomely but had serious safety and reliability issues...hopefully lessons learned and applied by today's "nextgen" engineers in Stratford have made the K the ultimate PRODUCTION heavy-lift category helicopter in the world...Nothing like the sound and feel of the 53 starting up or flying by !
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