PATUXENT RIVER, MD --
Industry and government engineers have mitigated ongoing engine integration issues, including exhaust gas re-ingestion (EGR), for the CH-53K King Stallion – the new heavy-lift helicopter from Sikorsky for the United States Marine Corps.
“Bringing together the tiger team exemplifies the importance and purpose of an integrated test team,” said Col. Jack Perrin, PMA-261 program manager, heavy lift helicopter program office. “It was great to see the team turn the corner for the program and produce a resolution to an ongoing problem. This was a priority for NAVAIR, industry and the Marine Corps, and the team hit it out of the park,” he said.
The CH-53K King Stallion is an all-new heavy-lift helicopter that will expand the Marine Corps' ability to move more material more rapidly. That power comes from three new General Electric T-408 engines, which are more powerful and more fuel efficient than the T-64 engines currently outfitted on the CH-53E Super Stallion.
Team members worked different root cause analyses in parallel, determining the cause and developing design models to mitigate causes for EGR. From those models, iterative flight testing resulted in a validated model to assess the most promising answer.
That model was then used to construct components for one of the test aircraft that flew a rigorous series of test flights to collect data to validate the model. The extensive set of flight test data was then condensed, analyzed and presented in December 2019 to show that the result performed as predicted and provided an overall design modification that would meet the needs for fleet aircraft.
“This is exactly what an integrated test team is supposed to do,” said Perrin. “Bring their expertise to a project, look for resolutions in a dynamic and collaborative environment, determine the best path forward and keep this aircraft on track to the fleet.”