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Kaman Corporation has announced that its Aerosystems division will continue production of the commercial K-MAX heavy-lift utility helicopter. The company resumed K-MAX production in 2015 after a more than decade long hiatus with an initial commitment to build at least 10 new aircraft.
“Continued demand and interest in the capabilities of the K-MAX have provided us the confidence to extend production into 2019, at a minimum,” said Greg Steiner, president, Kaman Aerospace Group.This is great news for operators who need the K-MAX to perform their repetitive lift missions cost effectively. Our team has done a great job assessing the global market and working with potential and existing customers to secure additional orders for our K-MAX helicopter.”
K-MAX aircraft are manufactured in the company’s North American facilities in Jacksonville, Florida and Bloomfield, Connecticut. Orders for new K-MAX aircraft have thus far come from China, Europe and North America.
K-MAX aircraft are used around the world for firefighting, logging, powerline construction and other missions requiring repetitive aerial lift capabilities. The U.S. Marine Corps maintains two unmanned K-MAX aircraft developed with Lockheed Martin. These aircraft successfully supported the U.S. Marine Corps in Afghanistan for 33 months from 2011 to 2014 carrying more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo.
Additional unmanned firefighting and humanitarian missions for K-MAX are also being developed and tested.
Development of the K-MAX was led by Kaman founder and former CEO, aviation pioneer Charles H. Kaman, and received Federal Aviation Administration certification in 1994. The single-engine, single-seat K-MAX is a rugged low-maintenance aircraft that features a counter-rotating rotor system and is optimized for external load operations and designed specifically for vertical reference flight.
The aircraft can lift up to 6,000 pounds (2,722 kilograms). The company will have representatives at the Paris Air Show from June 19 to 22, to discuss sales from the extended production run. The team will be available to answer any questions relative to the K-MAX helicopter and Kaman’s other products and services at the Kaman Stand D118, Hall 3.