Sunday, January 24, 2010
With the ongoing dilemma in the USAF for a replacement helicopter for Special Operations, you have to ask yourself why don’t they just piggyback on the USMC/Sikorsky CH-53K program. According to a recent press release from Sikorsky y
“The CH-53K helicopter will maintain virtually the same footprint as the CH-53E aircraft, but will nearly triple the payload to 27,000 pounds over 110 nautical miles under “hot high” ambient conditions. The CH-53K helicopter’s maximum gross weight (MGW) with internal loads is 74,000 pounds compared to 69,750 pounds for the CH-53E aircraft. The CH-53K’s MGW with external loads is 88,000 pounds as compared to 73,500 for the CH-53E helicopter.
Features of the CH-53K helicopter include: a joint interoperable glass cockpit; fly-by-wire flight controls; fourth generation rotor blades with anhedral tips; a low-maintenance elastomeric rotor head; upgraded engines; a locking cargo rail system; external cargo handling improvements; survivability enhancements; and reduced operation and support costs.
The CH-53K helicopter team has successfully completed several risk reduction initiatives on two critical technologies, the split torque main gear box and the advanced main rotor blade, and is preparing for Technology Readiness Assessment in early 2010. The program conducted a successful Preliminary Design Review in September 2008, and is tracking toward a Critical Design Review in 2010 with an Initial Operational Capability milestone scheduled in early 2016.”With these advancements in the primary systems how hard would it be for Sikorsky and the USAF to install upgraded PAVE LOW avionics in the bird and presto you have a new long range SAR and Special Operations helicopter Sort of a Super PAVE LOW, without all the drawbacks that were pointed out with the MC-47. But since a but of USAF airframes could reduce everyone’s costs and Sikorsky know how to integrate the avionics to make a new PAVE LOW and we know how to maintain and support a 53 series helicopter and still have the basic infrastructure to make it happen it probably won’t as the Air Staff is seemingly blind to common sense.
Artwork photo Sikorsky
The Haiti earthquake and its aftermath is a terrible thing, but what amazes me are the complaints of the French and other about how the airfield is being operated.
The day after the earthquake two MC-130H Combat Talon II and one MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft from the USAF 1st Special Operations Wing landed at the heavily damaged airport. These aircraft brought in Combat Control, Pararescue, Security Forces, and communication specialist airmen and allowed the airport according to Col Buck Elton to begin receiving aircraft 28 minutes after their arrival. Since then over 600 relief flight have been handled at a facility the was averaging only three flights a day.
Instead of complaining maybe the MSM should do an in-depth story on these Airman and their ability to bring stability out of chaos to bring the relief to the people who are suffering.
Much to my great relief the Boeing 787 test program is soldiering on and earlier this week has met its initial airworthiness milestone. These initial tests in 15 flights over 60 flight hours have seen the 787 do its stalls, fly at 30000 feet and cruise at .65 mach. By reaching this initial goal flight going forward will go to 40000 feet and up to .85 mach as the test team expands the operating envelope. The 787 will change air travel as we know it by offering a more comfortable cabin with new efficiency for the airlines.
I had a great experience with these guys down at Skydive Key West. AN unbelievable rush, I had jumped 6 times before all on static line deployment, the feeling in free fall is great and the view is breathtaking of the Keys from altitude. Try it you'll like it.
No posting in over a month, had to get through the holidays and the drama at work with more drama coming probably this week. But now it's time to get going again especially with the the Democrat party still not getting a clue card after the Brown when in lefty Mass.