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AEROSPACE
Marine Corps' CH-53K in new phase of testing
by Richard Tomkins
Stratford, Conn. (UPI) May 1, 2013


Schiebel Group puts Capcopter S-100 through its paces for Dutch authorities
Vienna (UPI) Apr 30, 2013 -Austria's Schiebel Group reports its Camcopter S-100 unmanned air system has demonstrated its capabilities in a maritime environment for Dutch authorities.

The demonstration involved five maritime scenarios and was conducted in the North Sea, west of Den Helder, the Netherlands, from a Dutch Navy vessel.

The UAS used a L3 Wescam MX-10 electro-optic sensor as a payload, the company said.

"This series of trials once again showed how the S-100 can provide a cost effective capability to maritime commanders and decision makers whether ashore or afloat," said Hans Georg Schiebel, chairman of the Schiebel Group of companies.

Scenarios involved a fire aboard an abandoned ship loaded with dangerous substances. The Camcopter S-100 provided eyes-on information to would-be rescuers and helped locate missing crew.

In another scenario, the UAS tracked a ship suspected of involvement in narcotics trafficking.

"During all scenarios the Camcopter S-100 ably demonstrated its flexibility, versatility and persistence, all of which are the key to successful operation in maritime environment," the company said.

The Camcopter S-100 is a vertical takeoff and landing UAS with a beyond line-of-sight range of as much as 124 miles. It navigates using pre-programmed GPS waypoints or is operated with a pilot control unit.

Full system testing of the CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter being developed for the U.S. Marine Corps has begun, Sikorsky Aircraft said Thursday.

The testing involves a non-flying prototype with all seven main rotor blades and four tail rotor blades attached and spinning, the start of a two-year test program of the rotor blades, transmission, engines, and all sub-systems on the ground test vehicle.

"This is another key milestone in our building block approach to maturing the aircraft system," said Mike Torok, Sikorsky's CH-53K Program vice president. "The aircraft is now fully configured to proceed to the next series of system integration tests that will further validate the aircraft systems, such as rotors, drive, electrical, hydraulic, avionics and flight controls -- all leading to operational acceptance testing that will clear the flight aircraft for flight operations."

An initial flight test of engineering development CH-53K is expected late this year.

The CH-53K will be the newest variant of the Super Stallion, featuring three engines, composite rotor blades, and a wider cabin. It will have a cruise speed of 196 miles per hour and a range of 454 nautical miles. Its maximum gross weight with an external payload is 88,000 pounds.

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