14 April 2014
United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) subsidiary Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. said it has successfully completed an initial series of tests required by the Naval Air Systems Command to verify the structural strength of the CH-53K heavy lift helicopter.
Conducted on a full-size non-flying airframe called the static test article, the tests are part of a three-year program to validate that the largest helicopter ever designed and built by Sikorsky has the structural integrity to operate safely over its entire flight envelope, from its empty gross weight of 44,000 pounds up to its maximum gross weight of 88,000 pounds with external load.
To date, Sikorsky has completed a total of six test conditions on the static test article, all conducted during 2013 and early 2014. It will continue to test the structural integrity for another two years to validate the effects of aerodynamic forces and weight distribution on different sections of the airframe.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.