CH-53K lifts F-35C in external load test

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Unread post25 Jan 2023, 04:32

CH-53K lifts F-35C in external load test
24 Jan 2023 NavAir

"NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND PATUXENT RIVER, Md.-- A CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter from Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron (VMX) performed an external load certification lift of an inoperable F-35 Lightning II airframe in December at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland. The lift was to evaluate the load and inform future lift capabilities....

...The NAS Patuxent River F-35 Integrated Test Force (ITF) test team, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Cargo Lab, and others ensured a successful lift and flight by conducting load certification testing, sling configuration analysis, and cargo characteristics documentation were completed as required. Data from the tests will inform the flight envelope for future events. An earlier crane test lift verified the sling, rig, pitch and bank attitudes of the jet, and control surface states.

The aircraft lifted is a developmental test carrier variant F-35C fighter jet that had accrued 750 flight hours during 450 test flights between 2010 and 2016. The F-35C and rigging weighed about 22,000 pounds after removal of its mission and propulsion systems, outer wings, and additional equipment.

The CH-53K is currently cleared to conduct a 27,000-pound external lift and is projected to be cleared for a 36,000-pound external lift, nearly three-times more under high, hot conditions than its predecessor, the CH-53E.

In September 2021, the CH-53K performed its first operational mission by lifting a Navy MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter from a 12,000-foot mountain top in California. That aircraft weighed approximately 15,000 pounds and was successfully transported 23 miles to Fallon, NV...."

Photo: "A non-flyable F-35C Lightning II airframe is flown as part of a CH-53K King Stallion external load certification lift Dec. 13, 2022, at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The structure is from the first F-35C carrier variant aircraft, CF-1, a former developmental flight test jet from the Patuxent River F-35 Integrated Test Force (ITF). ITF test teams collaborated with Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron One (VMX-1) and a Marine helicopter support team with Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 24, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group to conduct the lift. (U.S. Navy photo by Kyra Helwick)" ... 81_072.jpg (0.75Mb)
& ... _002_0.jpg (0.73Mb)

Source: ... 42023-0936
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Unread post27 Jan 2023, 00:41

That CH-53K is an absolute BEAST!

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