Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 7545
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Latest on the CH53K

Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:48 am

Last I read this program had serious, possibly terminal issues of a technical nature


Is there any new information?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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LightningZ71
Posts: 481
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:59 pm

Re: Latest on the CH53K

Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:58 pm

The only publicly released information that's somewhat current is that the Pentagon and Boeing are researching the possibility of replacing the CH53K program with an up-engined CH-47, including using the same engines that are planned for the 53K on the 47 to increase it's capabilities. They acknowledge that the CH-47 will have a larger footprint on the Gator carriers, but, if it actually works reliably, it's a worth while trade. But, there's not much new since May, 2019.
 
Ozair
Posts: 4052
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Latest on the CH53K

Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:36 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
The only publicly released information that's somewhat current is that the Pentagon and Boeing are researching the possibility of replacing the CH53K program with an up-engined CH-47, including using the same engines that are planned for the 53K on the 47 to increase it's capabilities. They acknowledge that the CH-47 will have a larger footprint on the Gator carriers, but, if it actually works reliably, it's a worth while trade. But, there's not much new since May, 2019.


Do you have a link on that I can read? I would be surprised that the USMC was considering this option given how vocal they have been about the CH-63K.
 
texl1649
Posts: 994
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: Latest on the CH53K

Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:51 pm

That's based on a May update essentially, I think, that Boeing is trying something to upgrade a legacy Chinook to an engine just a tad more modern than the T55 (which would have made sense a decade or two ago as well).

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... in-458380/

The image of a SOCOM Chinook on a Wasp class deck in this article is indeed very unusual, and unlikely to be accepted by the USMC. Going down to 2 engines from 3 would probably in itself entail years of study for the DoD for USMC missions.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... new-ch-53k
 
Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 7545
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Latest on the CH53K

Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:20 am

Kind of stunning that the -53K’s problems are significant enough that there don’t seem to be any
answers
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns and the love of them by a loud minority are a malignant and deadly cancer inflicted on American society
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 1389
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: Latest on the CH53K

Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:45 am

A new batch was funded, I suspect tucked inside is extra cash to solve the problems.

https://www.americanmachinist.com/news/ ... r-contract
 
Ozair
Posts: 4052
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Latest on the CH53K

Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:13 pm

texl1649 wrote:
That's based on a May update essentially, I think, that Boeing is trying something to upgrade a legacy Chinook to an engine just a tad more modern than the T55 (which would have made sense a decade or two ago as well).

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... in-458380/

The image of a SOCOM Chinook on a Wasp class deck in this article is indeed very unusual, and unlikely to be accepted by the USMC. Going down to 2 engines from 3 would probably in itself entail years of study for the DoD for USMC missions.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... new-ch-53k

Ah okay. I don't consider that an attempt to end the Ch-53K but perhaps Boeing's attempt to make the CH-47 more competitive.
 
texl1649
Posts: 994
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: Latest on the CH53K

Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:25 pm

Absolutely correct, Ozair.

Also, Lockheed did brief/update @ PAS slightly/somewhat. I really, really don't think the USMC would walk away from this program very willingly/easily at all, and the Sikorsky folks don't seem real worried, after getting the recent billion dollar contract in May for it.

https://sldinfo.com/2019/06/the-ch-53k- ... 0006764861
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 3181
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Latest on the CH53K

Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:42 am

The bigger issue with the CH-47 is a lack of power folding rotor blades; the CH-47 does have the ability to have the blades delinked at the lead/lag damper and swung into an administratively stowed position resting on specially constructed blade stands over the central fuselage so that the blades fit entirely within the foot print of the the fuselage. However, this was a capability that was only developed by Boeing, and was not an option picked up by many CH-47 users.

Also, the CH-47 is not fully marinized and was never designed to be so; this is not a trivial matter. Shipboard helicopters need to be built from the ground up to be extensively corrosion resistant; that requires special coatings through the airframe structure, and even special metal alloys. Even then, aircraft need special maintenance procedures and attention to prevent corrosion and avionics problems. Experience from both the US and UK militaries show that while you can operate CH-47's off ships, it is not ideal, because the helicopters are not designed for the environment.

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