Sikorsky has started to take delivery of parts that will make up the CH-53K heavy lift helicopter that the manufacturer is producing for the U.S. Marine Corps. The initial parts mostly involve transmission gear forgings that Sikorsky machinists will refine for the first CH-53K prototypes. Program Manager John Johnson explains that the parts delivery signifies advancing “from the ‘paper’ stages of engineering and design to the hardware stages of castings and forgings.” Sikorsky will assemble seven prototypes at its West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Development Flight Center during the design and development stage. Four of those helicopters will be used for engineering development, and the other three will serve as a ground test vehicle, static test aircraft and fatigue test platform. The CH053K involves around 8,500 parts in total.
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