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Old 15th Mar 2016, 14:47
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chopper2004
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: The Alps
Posts: 1,981
Second CH-53K helicopter joins flight test program| Vertical Magazine

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, has announced the second CH-53K helicopter has joined the flight test program and achieved first flight. In addition, the first aircraft into the test program has achieved flight envelope expansion to 120 knots for the United States Marine Corps' (USMC) CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter program.

"Adding a second aircraft into flight status signifies another milestone for the CH-53K program," said Mike Torok, Sikorsky's vice president of CH-53K programs. "With both aircraft in flight test, our flight envelope expansion efforts will accelerate as we continue to make good progress toward our initial operational test assessment and full aircraft system qualification."


The first and second CH-53K heavy lift helicopter engineering development models (EDM) achieved their first flights on Oct. 27, 2015, and Jan. 22, 2016, respectively. To date, these helicopters have achieved over 35 flight hours combined including multiple flights with an active duty USMC pilot at the controls.


As the flight test program proceeds, these two flying CH-53K helicopters will be joined by two additional aircraft to complete flight qualification of the USMC's next generation heavy lift capability over an approximately three-year flight test program.


These first two aircraft are the most heavily instrumented of the EDM and will focus on structural flight loads and envelope expansion. When the other two EDM aircraft join the flight line in 2016 they will focus on performance, propulsion and avionics flight qualification.
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