Efforts for the CH-148 Cyclone maritime demonstration by Lockheed Martin‘s Sikorsky subsidiary and the Canadian defense department were recognized last week with the AHS International’s Leonardo International Fellowship Award for cooperative vertical flight.
The demonstration was intended to expand the helicopter’s flight envelope to Sea State 6 status for operations in environments with 20-foot waves and 55-knot winds, the company said Friday.
William Falk, Sikorsky’s director for the Canadian Maritime Helicopter Project, said the flight test team performed anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare demonstrations in the helicopter in rough winter weather. He added that the demonstration was a requirement for the Canadian government’s deployment of the helicopter weapon system.
The helicopter logged 270 flight hours and 975 landings on the HMCS Montreal and Halifax frigates through December to March from 2010 to 2017.
The demonstrations included both day and night operations for the fold of the main rotor blade and tail pylon, loading of a torpedo, ship-to-ship replenishment, hover-in-flight refuel and maintenance.
Canada’s air force plans to retire its CH-124 Sea King fleet this year and to receive its last 28 CH-148 Cyclone aircraft by 2021.
The company expects that the 10-year flight test program for the Cyclone helicopter will conclude by 2019 after 2,800 hours of flights.
The CH-148 features fully authorized fly-by-wire flight controls for hover operations, an articulating arm ground support tool and a retractable probe.