CH-53K helicopter nacelles delivered
Aurora Flight Sciences has announced that it has delivered the first pair of forward engine nacelles to Sikorsky Aircraft for assembly onto the first CH-53K prototype helicopter. The company made the announcement 30 April, 2012.
Made from composite material, each of the nacelles will house and protect a GE38-1B engine rated at 7,500 shaft horse power. Both of the newly delivered nacelles will be integrated onto the CH-53K Ground Test Vehicle at Sikorsky’s Florida Assembly and Flight Operations (FAFO) facility in West Palm Beach, FL. The nacelle for the aircraft’s third engine is embedded with the aircraft’s Main Rotor Pylon, which Aurora delivered to the FAFO in 2011.
The CH-53K is being produced as the US Marine Corps’ new-generation heavy lift rotorcraft. Compared to the CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter, currently being flown by the Marine Corps, the CH-53K aircraft will nearly triple the payload to 27,000 pounds over 110 nautical miles under high hot ambient conditions. Sikorsky leads an industry team that is designing and building five prototype aircraft and two non-flying test articles as part of a $3+ billion System Development and Demonstration contract.
First flight of the first prototype aircraft is expected in 2014.
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