Sikorsky has begun blades-on powered testing of the CH-53K ground test vehicle (GTV) ahead of the official May 5 rollout of the U.S. Marine Corps’ new heavy-lift helicopter at its West Palm Beach, Fla, final-assembly and development-test center. The GTV achieved shake-down light off on April 17, beginning 200 hr. of testing required to clear the CH-53K for a first flight late this year. Bare-head light off, with rotor hubs turning but no blades attached, was achieved in December. It ...

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