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World Aviation Defense & Security News - United States
USMC’s CH-53K completed 20K external load test
The Sikorsky CH-53K, which is US Marine Corps’ newest heavy-lift helicopter, has marked a new milestone in its flight envelope expansion, with the lifting of a 20,000 lbs external load. The test was carried out on 26 May, at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation’s Development Flight Centre, in West Palm Beach, Florida.
USMC s CH 3K completed 20K external load test 640 001The U.S. Marine Corps' newest helicopter, the CH-53K, completed its first external load flight test carrying a 20,000 lb. load May 26 at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation's Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.
(Credit: Sikorsky)

In April 2016, the helicopter completed the first test by lifting and then releasing a 12,000 lbs external load. Since then, Sikorsky has been gradually expanding the flight envelope tests by increasing the external load weight. According to the plans, the weights will increase up to 27,000 lbs and speeds up to 120 knots.

The CH-53K Super Stallion has been designed with single, dual and triple external cargo hook capability, allowing the transfer of three separate external loads to three separate landing zones in one single sortie.

The central hook can lift weights up to 36,000 lbs, while the other two can lift weights up to 25,200 lbs. Each hook can be electrically released from the cockpit and cabin. An auto-jettison system is incorporated to protect the aircraft in the even of a load attachment point failure.