Kaman delivers first K-Max aircraft from re-started production line
Kaman Corporation, a subsidiary Kaman Aerospace Corporation (Kaman), has announced that its launch customer Lectern Aviation Supplies Co., Ltd. of Hong Kong has formally accepted the first two production K-MAX aircraft built on Kaman’s re-opened production line. The aircraft are scheduled to be delivered to Guangdong Juxiang General Aviation Co. Ltd, in China, who will operate the aircraft primarily for firefighting.
At a ceremony to celebrate the acceptance with Kaman personnel, the customer, suppliers, and government officials, Kaman AVMRO general manager Drake Klotzman stated, “I am very proud to lead the team that has brought the K-MAX back into production. From board approval to acceptance this was a two year process that could not have been accomplished without the tireless work of many dedicated people. I am grateful for the support of all those involved and look forward to delivering many more K-MAX aircraft to customers around the world.”
K-MAX aircraft from the re-opened production line have been ordered by customers from around the world including China, Europe and North America. The aircraft is currently in use worldwide for firefighting, logging 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 thirty-three months from 2011-2014 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 Charlie 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 kg).