Kaman promoting K-Max firefighting role at FIDAE 2016


Kaman K-Max in the firefighting role

Kaman Corp has announced it will attend the FIDAE 2016 aerospace exhibition in the Chilean capital Santiago this week to promote the use of the K-Max for firefighting work. FIDAE opens today (Tuesday) through to Sunday 3rd April.

The K-Max is a dedicated lift helicopter, and features intermeshing rotor blades. A total of 38 were built during a production run from 1994 to 2003, following a first flight of the model on 23 December 1991.

The single-seat helicopter has an intentionally minimal width fuselage to make the most of the potential payload or it external lifting capacity.

The K-Max has been successfully trialled in unmanned roles in Afghanistan, picking up and moving cargo. Two helicopters were stationed there for around three years, working for the US Marine Corps. The helicopter is certified to lift up to 6,000 pounds (2,722kg).

The US Forest Service recently awarded 10 multi-year firefighting contracts to K-MAX operators.

Production has  commenced at the Kaman facilities in both Bloomfield, Connecticut and Jacksonville, Florida. The first delivery of this second production run is targeted for early 2017 to Hong Kong-based Lectern Aviation Supply. Other customers for new production aircraft include existing operators Rotex Helicopter of Switzerland, and Helicopter Express in Georgia.