Staff Writer (Updated: 6/15/2016):
The CH-148 is based on the airframe of the Sikorsky S-92 series, a modified variant of its Sikorsky S-70 series (the S-70 itself the basis for the US Army UH-60 "Blackhawk"). This helicopter family does not feature the requisite large side doors for cabin occupants and instead makes use of four rectangular access doors (two forward, two aft) with a window-lined fuselage and a rear loading ramp. Engines are uprated types and the airframe makes increased use of corrosion resistant materials required of over-water operations. The two pilots sit behind a short nose assembly and lightly-framed cockpit canopy with generally good views of the outside action. The fuselage design is relatively straight forward, encompassing the short cockpit, large crew area and raised empennage capped by a vertical tail fin and applicable horizontal planes. The twin engine arrangement is comprised of 2 x General Electric CT7-8A7 turboshaft powerplants in a side-by-side configuration driving a four-bladed composite main rotor and four-bladed tail rotor. The main rotor sits atop a short mast held close to the fuselage roof while the tail rotor is set to face the starboard side of the aircraft. Two large sponsons (each housing a 15-man lift raft) are fitted to either side of the fuselage that allow for some limited "amphibious" capabilities while the wheeled undercarriage is retractable (two double-tired main landing gear legs and a single double-tired nose leg). Overall construction is of metal and composites which produce a relatively lighter airframe while retaining robust tolerances required of the role. The CH-148 will be used in an anti-submarine warfare role (when outfitted as such) as well as general transport (up to 22 occupants).