CH-53K flight testing moves to Patuxent River
The CH-53K King Stallion has completed its first long-range test flight from West Palm Beach, Florida, to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, as it transitions to the next test phase of its test programme, Lockheed Martin announced on 5 July.
This is the first of several flights the CH-53K is scheduled to take during 2017 and 2018 as part of its flight test programme. The helicopter flew a distance of around 810 miles in six hours, with two fuel stops taken; one at Naval Air Station Mayport, Florida, and the other at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina.
The four CH-53K Engineering Development Model aircraft have already completed over 450 hours of flight testing at Sikorsky's Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach. The flight test programme will continue at Patuxent River under an integrated test team comprising Sikorsky, US Navy Naval Air Systems Command and US Marine Corps personnel.
The CH-53K King Stallion is a heavy-lift transport helicopter that provides heavy lift capability with three times the lift of the CH-53E that it will replace.
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