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K-Max Helicopters Set to Begin Delivery


K-Max Helicopters

This spring will mark the first of the new Kaman Aerosystems external-left helicopters to begin delivery. The K-Max K-1200 will begin rolling out in April, with the second batch of helicopters set to fly in April of this year. The fleet of helicopters are to be used for the China Department of Forestry. They will arrive in both months at Lectern Aviation in China prior to being distributed to the Department of Forestry. K-Max has been out of production for ten plus years. This will mark the first return for this helicopter since it halted production in 2003.

The original K-Max was certified in 1994. Due to high demand and continued request for the K-max, Kaman Aerosystems decided in 2015 to start production of the helicopter. January marked the entail delivery of the first airframe from the Jacksonville production line to its plant located in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Currently the K-Max is undergoing its final flight testing and assembly work. “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,” said Drake Klotzman, Air Vehicles & MRO (AVMRO) division general manager, during is scheduled announcement to the press and public. “Producing the initial airframe is an important milestone for the program.” Kotzman did state that the K-Max would not require recertification but it would need to undergo the certification process since it has almost fifteen years since it’s last production. “Our experienced employees are working diligently to complete the first aircraft in order to have deliveries to customers begin this spring with multiple deliveries to follow during 2017,” Klotzman added. The first fleet of helicopters would be set at 10 units initially.

The announcement for the amount of helicopters for the second tier of production will be sometime this year. With the growing interest in in the K-Max helicopter the vibe has been very positive for rolling out units for the first time in over a decade. The U.S Marine Corps currently maintains two unmanned K-Max helicopters developed with Lockheed Martin. There are no known plans to add anymore K-Max helicopters to the U.S. military but that could change with the new production planned. Both helicopters were flown between 2011-2014, delivering 4.5 million pounds of cargo throughout Afghanistan. Kaman new fleet of K-Max helicopters will be manned, but also have the capability to be flown unmanned. They will continue to explore unmanned flight platforms for medevac, cargo delivery and firefighting.

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