Donaldson Aerospace & Defense has completed delivering system development versions of its Engine Air Particle Protection System (EAPPS) to Sikorsky Aircraft’s CH-53K program that will provide the next-generation heavy-lift helicopter for the U.S. Marine Corps.
The 12 Engineering Development Models delivered by Donaldson Aerospace & Defense, a division of Donaldson Company, support the system development and demonstration phase of the CH-53K program. This phase is scheduled to achieve a key milestone this month when the CH-53K Ground Test Vehicle “lights off” to test its three turbine engines, main and tail rotors and transmissions at Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach, Florida facility. The first flight is scheduled for 2014, with initial operating capability of the first CH-53K squadrons targeted for Fiscal Year 2019.
The Marine Corps plans to acquire 196 CH-53Ks, which are designed to have twice the payload and combat radius capability of the current heavy-lift CH-53E and perform better in “high and hot” operating conditions, all while maintaining the same footprint as the CH-53E when deployed on ships. In addition to flying at high altitudes in hot temperatures, the CH-53K will carry troops and cargo to remote, unimproved landing sites in dusty and dirty conditions. Its three, 6,000-shaft-horsepower-class engines are key to achieving these goals and Donaldson’s EAPPS are key to ensuring the engines perform safely and reliably in such challenging conditions.
Using its patented Strata Tube technology, Donaldson developed the lightweight, high-efficiency EAPPS to protect the CH-53K’s engines from the damaging effects of dirt, dust, sand and other contaminants. Strata technology offers low airflow restriction, high filtration efficiencies and minimal maintenance. Strata panels are used successfully in many military applications, including the D and E versions of the CH-53.