Kaman Aerosystems announced that it has successfully delivered its first airframe from the re-opened K-MAX production line in Jacksonville, Florida to the Company’s plant in Bloomfield, Connecticut where it will undergo final assembly, testing, and certification.
“Delivery of the first K-MAX aircraft to our customer is scheduled to take place during the second quarter of this year following completion of the remaining assembly and testing at our Bloomfield facility. Producing the initial airframe is an important milestone for the program,” according to Drake Klotzman, Air Vehicles & MRO (AVMRO) Division general manager. “There will be a number of efforts occurring simultaneously over the next few months, including the assembly of the aircraft, FAA production certification efforts, customary one-time inspections associated with the first aircraft, and flight test.”
The single-engine, single-seat K-MAX is an uneven low-maintenance aircraft that features a counter-rotating rotor system and is optimized for outside load operations and designed particularly for vertical reference flight. The aircraft can lift up to 6,000 pounds (2,722 kg).
The aircraft is used around the world for firefighting, logging, construction and other missions requiring repetitive aerial lift capabilities. The U.S. Marine Corps has two unmanned K-MAX aircraft developed with Lockheed Martin. These aircraft successfully supported the U.S. Marine Corps in Afghanistan from 2011-2014 carrying more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo.