Aviation news analysis
50 SKY SHADES - World aviation news

Sikorsky CH-53K programme puts gearbox issues behind it

Download: Printable PDF Date: 13 Apr 2016 00:05 category:
Publisher:
Sikorsky CH-53K programme puts gearbox issues behind it - Manufacturer publisher
Tatjana Obrazcova
Country: United States Aircraft: Helicopters
Source: Flightglobal

US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) appears to be confident that the Sikorsky CH-53K programme has put the gearbox failures and parts delays experienced prior to first flight in October 2015 behind it, but the Lockheed Martin-owned helicopter manufacturer won’t receive bonus cheques for lateness.

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently stated that the King Stallion’s planned entry into low-rate production has been delayed eight months to February 2017 because of technical difficulties.

The aircraft is being developed for the US Marine Corps to replace the heavy-lift CH-53E, and should be ready for duty in 2019.

Although the US government bears the ultimate cost of delays and overruns, NAVAIR says schedule incentives were part of the arrangement “and Sikorsky was impacted due to schedule slides”.

The latest development cost estimate stands at $6.8 billion, $2 billion more than originally imagined.

Asset Image

Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin

The super-heavy-lift helicopter’s two critical technologies are the split torque gearbox and seven anhedral swept-tip composite main rotor blades and both are now flying on the first two engineering design model (EDM) aircraft. However, problems reported with the main gear box did set back the overall test schedule by delaying first flight.

“The redesigned components are flying in the test aircraft and are performing well,” confirms NAVAIR in an email to Flightglobal. “The redesigned components are flying in both test assets currently flying, and no further changes are anticipated. There has been no impact to the flight schedule because the changes were made prior to first flight.”

The programme has also been working with unnamed suppliers to “find efficiencies” and all redesigned components were ground testing prior to retrofit and flight on EDM-1. NAVAIR expects the third and fourth aircraft to join the test campaign “before the end of summer 2016”.



Loading comments for Sikorsky CH-53K programme puts gearbox issues behind it...


Recommended

New AW139 for Heli Shuttle at London Biggin Hill Airport

The London Heli Shuttle, operated by Castle Air at London Biggin Hill Airport , is extending its fleet to 10 helicopters with the addition of a new AgustaWestland AW139. The London Heli Shuttle was...

Hungary orders 16 H225M multi-role helicopters

The Hungarian Ministry of Defence has ordered 16 H225M multi-purpose helicoptersequipped with the HForce weapon management system. Together with the helicopters, Airbus will also provide an...

Bundeswehr orders H145 search and rescue helicopters

The Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINWBw) has ordered seven H145 helicopters to replace the German Armed Forces’ (Bundeswehr)...

Flying Colours Corp. breaks ground for new hangar at headquarters

Flying Colours, the North American maintenance, repair, overhaul and completions business has broken ground as work starts on building its largest hangar to date. Industrial construction company Vican...