Sikorsky Validates 4th Generation Rotor Blade Concept
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: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060403/SIKORSKYLOGO ) 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
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