Sikorsky Validates 4th Generation Rotor Blade Concept

Oct 30, 2006, 00:00 ET from Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

    STRATFORD, Conn., Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Sikorsky Aircraft has
 submitted better than projected performance test results of its latest
 testing on the 4th generation rotor blade to the US Marine Corps. Sikorsky
 is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:   UTX).
     (Logo: )
     The 4th Generation(TM) blade follows in a long chain of innovations in
 the area of rotor systems. It builds on the work done for Sikorsky's
 state-of-the- art Growth Rotor Blade (GRB(TM)) currently used on the UH-60M
 and S/H-92(TM) helicopter in a long chain of innovation in the area of
 rotor systems. The CH-53K model wind tunnel testing performed late this
 summer has shown a significant improvement in forward flight efficiency
 over the GRB. Earlier in the year, similar model rotor hover testing
 indicated large gains in hover efficiency. Together, the two tests further
 validate the large investments that Sikorsky has made in 4th Generation
 blade aerodynamics.
     "This is tremendous improvement in the rotor system. The performance of
 the advanced blade compared to our current technology translates directly
 into increased payload range. For example, based on model rotor test
 results, we expect range improvements of up to 90 nautical miles over the
 GRB blade for similar S-92A applications. Also, for certain hot-high
 conditions, the aircraft Max Cruise Speed will increase from 135 knots to
 146 knots," said Bob Moffitt, Sikorsky's Manager of Flight Sciences and a
 38-year veteran in rotor system design.
     Currently used by the US Marine Corps, the three-engine Sikorsky CH-53E
 SUPER STALLION(TM) helicopter is the largest, most powerful marinized
 helicopter in the world. It is deployed from Marine Corps amphibious
 assault ships to transport personnel and equipment, and to carry external
 (sling) loads.
     The CH-53K will maintain virtually the same footprint as the CH-53E,
 but will nearly double the payload to 27,000 pounds over 110 nautical miles
 under "hot high" ambient conditions. The CH-53K's maximum gross weight will
 increase to 84,700 pounds versus 73,000 pounds for the CH-53E.
     The upgrades slated for the CH-53K including the 4th Generation, high-
 efficiency rotor blade are: joint interoperable glass cockpit fly-by-wire
 flight controls; low-maintenance elastomeric rotorhead; gross weight
 expansion; upgraded engine system; cargo rail locking system; external
 cargo handling improvements and survivability enhancements; and reduced
 operation and support costs.
     This significant improvement in technology and the efficiency of the
 rotor system is also directly applicable to Sikorsky's HH-92 SUPERHAWK,
 which it is currently offering for the United States Air Force Combat
 Search and Rescue Replacement (CSAR-X) program. A contract decision is
 expected in November.
     "Our current S/H-92 blade flying on production aircraft today more than
 satisfies the Air Force's Block 0 requirements. We are very pleased that
 the 4th generation rotor blade technology that will be integrated on the
 future Block 10 aircraft, is already being proven today," said John
 Pacelli, Sikorsky's CSAR-X Senior Business Acquisition Manager. "The
 successes achieved to date with this technology will allow us to provide
 the Air Force with an even more capable, and fully risk reduced solution to
 meet its future mission needs."
     Designed and built using rugged and proven BLACK HAWK technology, the
 HH- 92 advanced weapons system offers the best combination of
 survivability, performance, interoperability, safety and cost for the vital
 CSAR-X mission.
     The Canadian government has contracted for 28 H-92 helicopters,
 designated the CH-148 Cyclone, to conduct a variety of missions including
 search and rescue, passenger and cargo transfer, medical evacuations and
 tactical transport.
     Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Connecticut, USA, is a
 world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing, and service. United
 Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Connecticut, USA, provides a broad
 range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and
 building systems.

SOURCE Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation