CH-53E Super Stallion – The Military’s Biggest Helicopter Hauls A Tank
United States Military
Do You Even Lift?
There are some pretty big transports around but the CH-53E takes the cake and comes back for seconds. Reigning supreme as the biggest helicopter in US Military’s service the Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion has some serious lifting power.
Debuting in 1981 the CH-53E quickly became the go-to helicopter for moving big equipment. It can support up to 55 passengers while carrying an immense load of 18 tons, it has no problem supporting Humvees, tanks or helicopters. Aside from its amazing lifting ability, it is armed for combat with mounted machine guns unless it comes under attack.
- Crew: 5: 2 pilots, 1 crew chief/right gunner, 1 left gunner, 1 tail gunner (combat crew)
- Capacity: 37 troops (55 with centerline seats installed)
- Payload: internal: 30,000 lb or 13,600 kg (external: 36,000 lb or 14,500 kg)
- Length: 99 ft 1/2 in (30.2 m)
- Rotor diameter: 79 ft (24 m)
- Height: 27 ft 9 in (8.46 m)
- Disc area: 4,900 ft² (460 m²)
- Empty weight: 33,226 lb (15,071 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 73,500 lb (33,300 kg)
- Powerplant: 3 × General Electric T64-GE-416/416A turboshaft, 4,380 shp (3,270 kW) each
- Rotor systems: 7 blades on main rotor, 4 blades on anti-torque tail rotor
- Maximum speed: 170 knots (196 mph, 315 km/Cruise speed: 150 kt (173 mph, 278 km/h)
- Range: 540 nmi (621 mi, 1,000 km)
- Ferry range: 990 nmi (1,139 mi, 1,833 km)
- Service ceiling: 18,500 ft (5,640 m)
- Rate of climb: 2,500 ft/min (13 m/s)
It is pretty amazing so see hauling power like this coming from a helicopter. The fine folks at Gung Ho Videos provide a video of a CH-53E Super Stallion picking up a tank that you just have to see to believe.