Anything and everything anytime
No not quite. This post is not about a super stallion horse, but about a super stallion helicopter. The CH-53E Super Stallion of the United States Marines. This is one big and versatile chopper. An aircraft like none other in the world.
The Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion is the largest and heaviest helicopter in the United States military. It was developed from the CH-53 Sea Stallion, mainly by adding a third engine, a seventh blade to the main rotor and canting the tail rotor 20 degrees. Sailors commonly refer to the Super Stallion as the “Hurricane Maker” because of the downwash the helicopter generates. It was built by Sikorsky Aircraft for the United States Marine Corps. The less common MH-53E Sea Dragon fills the United States Navy’s need for long range mine sweeping or Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM) missions, and perform heavy-lift duties for the Navy. The CH-53E/MH-53E are designated “S-80” by Sikorsky. Currently under development is the CH-53K, which will be equipped with new engines, new composite rotor blades, and a wider cabin.
|Role||Heavy-lift cargo helicopter|
|First flight||1 March 1974|
|Primary users||United States Marine Corps United States Navy Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force|
|Unit cost||US$24.36 million (1992) average|
|Developed from||Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion|
|Developed into||Sikorsky CH-53K Super Stallion|
The US Marine Corps had been planning to upgrade most of their CH-53Es to keep them in service, but this plan stalled. Sikorsky then proposed a new version, originally the “CH-53X”, and in April 2006, the USMC signed a contract for 156 aircraft as the “CH-53K”. The Marines are planning to start retiring CH-53Es in 2009 and need new helicopters very quickly.
In August 2007, the USMC increased its order of CH-53Ks to 227. First flight was planned for November 2011 with initial operating capability by 2015.
Super Stallions on board the amphibious carrier U.S.S. Boxer docked in Hong Kong
In air refuelling by a C-130 Hercules