Innovative CH-53K Cargo Floor System

Period of Performance: 10/15/2014 - 04/15/2015


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Piasecki Aircraft Corp.
519 West Second Street P.O. Box 360
Essington, PA 19029
Principal Investigator


Piasecki Aircraft Corporation (PiAC) proposes to develop an innovative cargo floor of Aluminum Isogrid construction that maintains durability while cutting the weight by a third from 1500lb to 1030lb. This design cuts floor panel numbers from 54 to 24, resulting in reduced maintenance labor. The design allows a multitude of customization opportunities to be chosen at the discretion of the US military. PiAC s Isogrid Floor provides attachment points at each naturally occurring node throughout the floor thus allowing unlimited access holes without weight penalty. These features in composites would require special processes and build-ups carrying significant weight consequences. Inspection is simplified with open triangular cells leaving no hidden elements within the panels. Isogrid is a naturally fail-safe design. Even if a crack occurs on the surface, it is contained within its triangular section, preventing crack propagation. PiAC will incorporate design attributes required to interface with the CH-53K airframe while presenting options for additional features that further improve the floor. Final design will undergo complete structural assessment per military specifications. Design for Manufacture Ability (DFMA) will explore Near-Net Forging and Additive Manufacturing to determine the most efficient fabrication process.