Sometimes you have to be more than super to be No. 1. For four decades, Sikorsky’s CH-53E Super Stallion ruled the American sky as the nation’s largest and most powerful helicopter. But the next-generation version of the chopper, the CH-53K King Stallion, is now chomping at the bit.
Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky Aircraft unit is building the new helicopter for the U.S. Marines. Today, GE Aviation took the wraps off a brand-new engine that will allow the King Stallion to claim the top spot.
GE spent nine years developing the new GE38 engine. It will allow the CH-53K to carry as much as 27,000 pounds of external load — some 27 real-life stallions — over a mission radius of 110 nautical miles in hot-weather conditions, nearly triple what its predecessor could manage. At 7,500 horsepower, the new engine will provide 57 percent more power and use 18 percent less fuel, compared to the engines used by the Super Stallion. The new engine also has 63 percent fewer parts, making maintenance easier.
GE has so far produced five factory test engines. They have completed two flight tests and spent 5,000 hours on the test stand. Two of the engines will be “consumed by live fire testing performed by the U.S. government,” GE says. Ouch.
Read the full article on GE Reports.
Gota love the “Big Iron”! I cut my teeth in the RH-53D as a Navy AMCM Aircrewman (and maintainer) in the early 80’s, transitioned to the MH-53E in the 90’s, and retired in 2005 with over 2000 flight hrs (& 800 under tow) in the mighty 53. I know of no other rotary wing airframe that is so underappreciated by the general public. The Navy’s attempt at a total transition to the H-60 was flawed from the beginning. Thankfully the USMC stuck to their guns by demanding a limited production/inventory of the K model despite efforts to phase it out with the Osprey. Regardless of the high operating cost and heavy maintenance requirement, the H-53 provides a capability unmatched by any other platform. Thanks Marines, Sikorsky, and GE!
this is so amazing
someday GE Aviation will be the real king