Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
Power Management Solutions Drive Improvement Efficiencies for Sikorsky's CH-53K
The CH-53K will be the world's premier heavy lift helicopter, leveraging the lessons learned in more than 50 years of manufacturing and operational success with the CH-53A/D/E predecessors.
The Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation CH-53K helicopter is a dual-piloted, multi-engine, vertical take-off and landing aircraft that has been selected by the U.S.Marine Corps to provide improved heavy lift capability, reduced operating costs, and state-of-the-art interoperability.
Designed to thrive in the modern battlefield, the extremely capable CH-53K aircraft will be intelligent, reliable, low maintenance and survivable across the full spectrum of operating conditions for which it was designed. Expeditionary in nature, the CH-53K aircraft will be fully shipboard compatible and capable of operating from austere and remote forward operating bases. The CH-53K helicopter is the solution to maintaining the Marine Corps' critical heavy-lift capability beyond the year 2025. The new helicopter is being designed to carry a cargo load of 27,000 lbs. (13.5 tons), 110 nautical miles, operating at an altitude of 3,000 feet and an ambient temperature of 91.5!F.
Starting in 2005, Eaton engaged with Sikorsky's CH-53K Development Team through a series of more than two dozen formal meetings in 18 months, working closely with Sikorsky engineers early in the development phase, Eaton identified weight, life-cycle cost, development risk, recurring cost and non-recurring engineering cost as key value drivers. Applying a systems approach, Eaton's engineers optimized the selection of components and influenced system architecture to satisfy the often conflicting customer needs to increase performance, reliability and maintainability, reduce life cycle costs, weight, shipboard space and stay within the constraints of Program schedule, scope and funding.
This relationship led to Eaton being selected to provide the Primary Hydraulic System, Integrated Fuel System, and Cockpit Lighted Control Panels. Eaton's development work on the CH-53K program includes on-site engineering support at Sikorsky's new Heavy Lift Development Center in Stratford, Conn., putting Eaton's systems engineering team at Sikorsky during the critical early design phase of the CH-53K program. Today, Eaton has one of the largest on-site technical and program management staff of any supplier on the program.
By pursuing a "One Eaton" approach, the business was able to implement more robust processes to manage risk, resources and requirements across Aerospace.
Early in the development phase of the CH-53K Eaton was able to offer common approaches to such diverse platform level attributes as corrosion prevention, requirements management and data item configuration control.
Eaton's selection to provide the Primary Hydraulic System also included tasks for system performance analysis and on-site system integration lab and flight test support, allowing Eaton to deliver a total systems solution to the customer.
Eaton's selection to provide the Integrated Fuel System also consisted of eight inter-functioning sub-systems and the associated plumbing and control logic.
As with the Primary Hydraulic System, Eaton's effort on engineering the Integrated Fuel System included routing and installation interfaces developed by Eaton designers working onsite in Sikorsky's collaborative Integrated Digital Environment. The effort also included system performance analysis and on-site system integration and flight test support, allowing Eaton to deliver a total systems solution to the customer.
Finally, Eaton developed the aircraft's interior lighting system solution which offers superior reliability to achieve a life of the platform product.
Systems contracts like the CH-53K lead to expanded scope, increased recurring content and improved customer intimacy. Eaton has once again established itself as a valued partner in the development of the U .S. Marine Corps' next generation heavy lift helicopter.