An external payload of 36,000-pounds was recently lifted by a Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion, which made the flight at Sikorsky’s Development Flight Center.
The milestone marks completion of critical flight envelope expansion activities for the CH-53K as Sikorsky, as the company prepares to deliver the first aircraft to the U.S. Marine Corps, later this year.
“The successful completion of these last critical envelope expansion tests further demonstrates the maturity of the CH-53K aircraft,” said Dr. Michael Torok, Sikorsky Vice President, Marine Corps Systems.
The gross weight of the CH-53K with the external load of 36,000 lbs. topped out at just over 91,000 lbs.
“The payload capability of this helicopter is unmatched, triple that of its predecessor and better than any other heavy lift helicopter in production,” said Col. Hank Vanderborght, U.S. Marine Corps Program Manager for the Naval Air Systems Command’s Heavy Lift Helicopters Program.
A 27,000 lb. external load can be carried by the CH-53K over 110 nautical miles in high/hot conditions, which is more than triple the external load carrying capacity of the legacy CH-53E aircraft.
Rheinmetall and Sikorsky will also offer the CH-53K for Germany’s new heavy lift helicopter competition and the aircraft will make its debut appearance at the ILA Berlin Air Show in April.