The CH-53A was ordered in the early l960s to satisfy a Marine Corps requirement for a heavy lift helicopter. Other variants of the H-53 are the RH-53P and the MH-53E, which are used for mine countermeasures. Used extensively both afloat and ashore, the Sea Stallion was the heavy lift helicopter for the Marine Corps until the introduction of the CH-53E triple engine variant of the H-53 family into the fleet in 1981. The CH-53E Super Stallion, first delivered in 1980, is larger and can carry greater loads than the Sea Stallion. It has a third engine and a seven-blade rotor in place of the two engines and six-blade rotor in the Sea Stallion. It also has an upgraded transmission and can transport an external cargo of 16 tons (14.4 metric tons) for 5O nautical miles (57.5 statute miles, 92 km.).
By kjfitz @ 2006-01-13 20:17:42