Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion heavy-lift cargo helicopter
by: Tim Wing
The CH-53 Sea Stallion was the variant of the venerable Sikorsky S-65 family of heavy-lift transport helicopters used by the UN Spacy up until 2016. The Sea Stallion operated primarily off the decks of the UN Spacy’s Daedalus-class amphibious assault ships. After the end of the First Robotech War, the CH-53 was also used heavily during the Malcontent Uprisings where its range and heavy lift capability enabled it to penetrate the inner reaches of the Zentraedi Control Zone. The Sea Stallion was only retired in 2016 due to dwindling supplies of spares and replacement parts.
- Reference File
- Role: Heavy-lift cargo helicopter
- Manufacturer: Sikorsky Aircraft
- First flight: YCH-53: 14 October 1964
- Introduction: 1966
- Retired: 2011 (UN Spacy)
- Primary users: UN Spacy, United States Marine Corps, West German Army, Israeli Air Force, Mexican Air Force
- Produced: 1964–1978
The Sea Stallion has a fuselage design similar to the Sikorsky S-61R series. It has a passenger door on the right side of the fuselage behind the cockpit and a power-operated rear loading ramp. The fuselage is watertight, though not intended for amphibious use, and is only intended to land on water in emergencies. The Stallion has mechanical flight controls which are backed by three independent hydraulic systems. Armor protects crew and vital systems. The CH-53 carries a crew of four; pilot, copilot, and crew chief, a load of 55 troops, 24 litters with medical attendants, an internal cargo load of 3,600 kg or an external load of 5,900 kg on the single-point sling hook.
The CH-53 features a six-bladed main rotor and four-bladed tail rotor developed from those used on the S-64 Skycrane. To save space on board naval vessels, the tail boom and the rotors folded. The CH-53D features uprated engines, initially T64-GE-412 with 3,695 shp (2,755 kW) then the T64-413 with 3,925 shp (2,927 kW) with an uprated transmission. CH-53Ds are generally armed with twin .50 BMG (12.7 mm) M2/XM218 machine guns. In UN Spacy service, CH-53Ds were fitted with defensive countermeasures including an AN/ALE-39 chaff dispenser and an AN/ALQ-157 infrared countermeasure.
- Crew: 2 pilots, 1 or more crew chiefs
- Capacity: 38 troops (55 in alternate configuration) or 24 stretchers
- Length: 26.97 m
- Rotor diameter: 22.01 m
- Height: 7.6 m
- Disc area: 380.48 m²
- Airfoil: NACA 0011 MOD
- Empty weight: 10,740 kg
- Useful load: 3,630 kg
- Loaded weight: 15,227 kg
- takeoff weight: 19,100 kg
- Width (stub wings): 8.64 m
- Width (fuselage): 4.7 m
- Rotor systems: 6 blades on main rotor
- Powerplant: 2 × General Electric T64-GE-413 turboshaft, 3,925 shp (2,927 kW) each
- Maximum speed: 315 km/h
- Cruise speed: 278 km/h
- Range: 1,000 km
- Combat radius: 160 km
- Ferry range: 1,640 km
- Service ceiling: 5,106 m
- Rate of climb: 12.5 m/s
- Two door mounted .50 BMG GAU-15/A machine guns. Some have a ramp mounted .50 BMG GAU-21 machine gun.
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Original artwork by: Shoji Kawamori, Miyatake Kazutaka, Haruhiko Mikimoto and Hidetaka Tenjin. Main illustration from MADOX-01 Metal Skin Panic, drawn by Shinji Aramaki.
Content by Tim Wing
Copyright © 2018 Tim Wing