Tuesday, April 23, 2019

NAVAIR is seeking a new gearbox for the CH-53K...kinda late in the game for that huh?

via IHS Janes.
The US Department of Defense (DoD) is looking to address ongoing problems with the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion's main gearbox (MGB) by sourcing an alternate supplier.

The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) issued a solicitation on 22 April for alternative sources for the MGB to mitigate current production risk and secure volume increases for future production.

The CH-53K is fitted with an advanced drive system incorporating a multiple-path split-torque gearbox with load-sharing capability, which enables the helicopter to use the extra power of the three General Electric T408-GE-400 turboshaft engines.

This gearbox was one of three critical technologies on the helicopter that had not reached the desired levels of maturity by the time system development was launched in late 2005. Problems still had not been fully resolved in 2014 when a redesign of the MGB delayed the aircraft's maiden flight, which was finally achieved in October 2015. The US Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) 2018 report released earlier this year noted the MGB's low reliability and reduced service-life projections.
Story here. 

I forgot this helicopter has been in development since 2005.  Kinda crazy.  What is it with aviation programs in the US that seems to drag out development for decades now!

To think that they need a new gearbox at this stage of the game is weird too. It might be naive but I would think they'd have that VERY IMPORTANT part figured out by now.  To say that they're looking for a new spells nothing but trouble to me.

Pile in on this one aviation guys.  Tell me how off the mark I am.  Oh but while you're doing that tell me again why a 100 million plus helicopter is such a great deal after all this time.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.