SOURCE: Aurora Flight Sciences

Aurora Flight Sciences

January 04, 2010 14:41 ET

Aurora Reaches Major CH-53K Main Rotor Pylon Milestones

MANASSAS, VA--(Marketwire - January 4, 2010) - Aurora Flight Sciences announced that it reached and successfully completed its Critical Design Review (CDR) and 100% model release milestones for the CH-53K main rotor pylon (MRP) program. These two events define the transition from engineering design to manufacturing of the MRP structure for the System Development and Demonstration SDD aircraft.

"Aurora Flight Sciences is extremely pleased to continue to build on our strong relationship with Sikorsky Aircraft. The CH-53K Heavy Lift Helicopter program is our first design to build aerostructures opportunity with Sikorsky where both companies' engineering teams collaborate toward the design, development, and production of a major weapon system. We look forward to supporting more such opportunities with Sikorsky," said Dan Brady, Aurora's Vice President of Aerostructures.

In addition to the MRP, Aurora also manufactures the CH-53K helicopter's No.1 and No.3 engine nacelles assembly, which is one of the major propulsion sections and houses the aircraft's No. 1 and No. 3 engines. Made primarily of composite and titanium materials, the nacelles will be fabricated by Aurora Flight Sciences of West Virginia and shipped to Sikorsky for integration into the U.S. Marine Corps' helicopter.

The three-engine CH-53K aircraft will be the world's premier heavy-lift helicopter. It is a new design leveraging the lessons learned from almost half a century of manufacturing and operating the earlier CH-53E SUPER STALLION™ helicopter.

"Aurora Flight Sciences designs and builds lightweight composite aircraft structures for manned and unmanned aircraft. Our role in building the nacelle for the CH-53K helicopter is a logical extension of our current work on the CH-53K helicopter's Main Rotor Pylon (MRP) which was awarded in May 2007," said Aurora President John Langford.

Nacelle assemblies will initially be built for the test and certification aircraft (four Engineering Development Models and one Ground Test Vehicle). The CH-53K helicopter SDD program schedule runs through the end of 2015.

About Aurora Flight Sciences

Aurora Flight Sciences designs and builds robotic aircraft and other advanced aerospace vehicles for scientific and military applications. Aurora is headquartered in Manassas, VA and operates production plants in Bridgeport, WV and Columbus, MS and a Research and Development Center in Cambridge, MA. To view recent press releases and more about Aurora please visit our web site at

About Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. based in Stratford, CT, is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), which is based in Hartford, CT, and provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.

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