Last October, Sikorsky's CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter made its maiden flight. That marked the start of a three-year, 2,000-hour test program that has continued with the aircraft making its first external load flight test carrying 20,000 lb (9,072 kg).

The heavy lift replacement for the US Marine Corps' CH-53E, the CH-53K is intended to allow the movement of more material more quickly. The recent test was conducted at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation's Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.

This is just one step on the road to the King Stallion's requirement to carry 27,000 lb (12,247 kg) at a mission radius of 110 nautical miles (203 km), which is three times the carrying capacity of the previous model, the CH-53E Super Stallion.

For the next tests, the King Stallion will lift the 20,000 lb load at incrementally increasing speeds, before eventually reaching its full potential of 27,000 lb.

Source: NavAir News