The Beast is delivered to the Marines

Sikorsky has delivered the first CH-53 King Stallion helicopter to the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). The aircraft is the first of an expected 200 helicopters for the Marine Corps’ fleet. The CH-53K is the new build replacement for the U.S. Marine Corps’ aging CH-53E Super Stallion fleet. The CH-53E first flew in 1974 and entered service with the USMC in 1981.


“Our first delivery of a CH-53K to the Marine Corps marks the start of a new generation of true heavy lift helicopter deliveries by Sikorsky that bring unsurpassed and expanded capability across the modern battlefield to provide tremendous mission flexibility and efficiency in delivering combat power, humanitarian assistance or disaster relief for those in need,” said Dan Schultz, Sikorsky President and former CH-53 pilot. “With 18 additional aircraft in various stages of production already, the entire Sikorsky team, in partnership with our suppliers, is looking forward to additional deliveries to delight our customer.”

This first CH53K heavy lift helicopter will be stationed at Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

There the helicopter enters into the Supportability Test Plan. U.S. Marines will conduct a logistics assessment on the maintenance, sustainment and overall aviation logistics support of the King Stallion. This assessment also will validate maintenance procedures with Marine Corps maintainers conducting hands-on care/upkeep of the aircraft. The Supportability Test Plan will ensure readiness and support on the flightline when CH-53K helicopters enter into service with the USMC.

Sikorsky expects to deliver its second CH-53K helicopter to the USMC in early 2019.

The CH-53K test program recently completed the following milestones: maximum weight single-point cargo hook sling load of 36,000 pounds (16,329 kilograms); forward flight speed of over 200 knots; 60 degrees angle of bank turns; altitude of 18,500 feet mean sea level (MSL); 12-degree slope landings and takeoffs; external load auto-jettison; and gunfire testing.

“I am very proud of the work accomplished to deliver the most powerful helicopter ever designed into the hands of our Marines,” Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder, Deputy Commandant for Aviation, said. “And confident in the teamwork and dedication in this program which will carry us to IOC (Initial Operational Capability) next year.”


Ok Mr. Helicopter Guru, what’s the difference between a King Stallion and a Sea Stallion? I honestly have no clue. I use to live in Hawaii and the Sea Stallion was standard for the Marines.

In fact one had crashed years ago possibly in 2011 and that was when I had initially gained interest in learning a little more about them.

Here’s the news article:


Great question!

So we have several versions the CH53 Sea Stallion, CH53E Super Stallion and CH53K King Stallion.

The CH53 Sea Stallion enter US Service in 1966 during Vietnam.
it’s manned by 2 pilots, 1 crew chief or more if required
Capacity of 38 troops, or 55 depending on configuration.
Its 88 ft 6 in long and 24 ft 11 in high!
It has a useful load of 8,000 lb, and max take off load of 42,000lbs. It’s powered by two GE T64 engines producing 3,925 horse power each.
It flies about 150 knots cruising with a 540 nm range.
The CH53 is retired and currently being changed to civilian status for fire fighting which is known as the Fire Stallion.

The CH53E Super Stallion
is manned by 5, which are, 2 pilots, 1 crew chief/right gunner, 1 left gunner, 1 tail gunner (combat crew)
It has a Capacity of 37, 55 with center row seating.
Payload wise internally it has a 30,000lb, external (Sling loading) it’s 36,000lb so we’ve gone from about 8,000lbs to 36,000lbs with the upgraded version.
Its 99 ft 1/2 in long and 27 ft 9 in tall . So it’s longer and taller!
Its powered by 3 GE T64 producing 4,380 horse power. So it has another engine making it more powerful.
Instead of six blades, like the CH53, the “E” Model has 7 blades for its main rotor.
It has the same cruising and range.
It’s in service still which is what typically we see.

Now the newest model - The CH53K King Stallion is the latest model.

Crew wise still your five. Two pilots, the crew chief everything.
Payload: 35,000 lb, not sure externally maybe 38,000 lbs.
Same length and height as the E model at 99 ft 1/2 in and 27 ft 9 in
Loaded as heavy as it can be it’s 74,000 lb.
It holds a new power plant which is 3 GE38-1B which produces 7,500 horse power.
It’s faster cruising at 170 knots with a range of 460 miles.
It’s the newest to the fleet!

@DeerCrusher Hope this help!


MaxSez: Tragic Loss, R.I.P. Marine, Semper Fi.
I spent 5 thrilling years assigned to MAG-24 at Kaneohe. Lotsa 53 hours. Am sure my comrades in arms there are in morning. I feel the loss.


Interesting fact, the super stallion is only 5 inches shorter than the KC130s. I wonder if the new 53s leak as much hyd as the old? Lol


If it doesn’t leak does it mean it work?

I say if it leaks, its a well oiled machine. 😳

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haha! Exactly!
(Guess I need some more stuff to fill up lol)

Was my stuff about the 53 pretty accurate then? @Maxmustang

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Here’s a video about the 53K!


AANNDD 360 camera inside


@anon93248082… MaxSez: Do Good Work “Rotor Head”. There’s nothing like a big shuttering shite house. Warmest Regards, Fly Smart and safe.

(I worker for Walt Piasecki as a kid cleaning up Experimental Test Stands in Philly back in the day., First go in the Marine H-19 (HRS) crew chief. Them’s where the days)


Oh geeze that’s the beginning of helicopters! You probably have some cool stories

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Love these super big helicopters, do some great and intresting jobs, especially in supporting the hardworking Marines!

Wasn’t there a version that was used for Minesweeping in the Gulf?

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Probably did!! Here’s a shot of that!



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