The Last Flight Of The CH-53G In Germany.
The CH-53 was developed in the early 1960s as a fast, all-weather and heavy transport helicopter for the United States Marine Corps. The German Bundeswehr bought 112 of these transport helicopters beginning in 1972, which were given to the Heer (German Army). The German version was given the designation CH-53G. In the process of further developments and modernisations, further versions were named the CH-53GS, -GE and -GA. During recent restructering of the German Forces, by the end of 2010 all CH-53s still in use were transferred to the German Air Force. The CH-53GA should stay in use until 2030; one of the reasons why is that the industry can’t offer a successor until 2018. With a projected service life of 55 years since it’s introduction, an airframe overhaul project will allow it to “exceed 6,000 hours Safe-Life cell”.
The Sikorsky CH-53G with the construction number V65-004 (and tailnumber 84+06) got it’s airworthiness cerificate on 8th May, 1972 and was assigned to the Army Aviation school at Buckerburg. Further stations this aircraft served at are as follows:
-October 1975: Technical School of the Air Force (TSLw3) – Faßberg
– December 1977: Army Aviation Regiment 35 (HFlgRgt 35) – Mendig
– April 1995: Medium Transport Helicopter Regiment 15 (mTHR 15) – Rheine
– September 1995: Army Aviation Regiment 35 (HFlgRgt 35) – Mendig
– March 1997: m Medium Transport Helicopter Regiment 15 (mTHR 15) – Rheine- Bentlage
– July 2014: Helicopter Wing 64 (HSG64) – Laupheim
On 1st August, 2014 the 84+06 was accepted with it’s special colours at Laupheim. It was painted at the Systemzentrum Luftfahrzeugtechnik at Erding Air Base. The Wing HSG64 follows an old German Aviation tradition to paint one of their aircraft or helicopter in special colours for a special occasion like a wing’s anniversary or reaching a milestone e.g. flying hours, a disbandment, or a phasing out of an aircraft. There are numerous examples of these colours to be found on the internet.
This helicopter was painted to mark the end of the Medium Transport Helicopter Regiment 25 (mTHR 25) , it’s transfer to the German Air Force, and it’s renumbering and change of name to Helicopter Wing 64 (HSG64).