Sikorsky completes initial tests of first rotor blades for CH-53K helicopter

Sikorsky Aircraft has successfully completed the initial phase of testing for the first-ever main and tail rotor blades manufactured for the U.S. Marine Corps’ CH-53K heavy lift helicopter program. Designed specially to help meet the Marine Corps requirement to lift the aircraft’s maximum gross weight of 88,000 pounds, the all-composite blades are the largest and most technologically advanced ever produced by Sikorsky. At 35 feet span length, and almost three feet chord width, the CH-53K main rotor blade has 12% more surface area than the CH-53E blade. A 4th generation aerodynamic design developed by Sikorsky adds unique airfoils, twist and taper to the new blade so as to accommodate 71% greater power generated by the CH-53K aircraft’s three 7,500-shaft-horsepower GE38-1B engines.

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