Sikorsky chief engineer talks future of CH-53K at AIAA SciTech Forum

Sikorsky is about to become disrupted by its own product. Andreas Bernhard, chief engineer on the Sikorsky CH-53K, said during American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ (AIAA) SciTech Forum in Kissimmee, Florida, that in the 2020s, the Black Hawk would no longer be the manufacturer’s main product.

“Since 1974, Sikorsky has been a Black Hawk company,” Bernhard said. “In the 2020s, Sikorsky will generate more revenue with the CH-53K than it will with the Black Hawk. And hand-in-hand with that, we’re delivering a capability to our primary customer, the United States Marines, that is truly transformative and disruptive.”

Charged with the task of developing an aircraft with a three-fold performance increase compared to its predecessor, Sikorsky’s process has been new, Bernhard said. The company used software tools CATIA V5 and LCA in a way that eliminated the use of paper. That makes the CH-53K Sikorsky’s first paperless design, according to Bernhard.

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