The helicopter world lost an icon when pioneer, inventor and philanthropist Charlie Kaman died January 31 at the age of 91.
The Kaman K-Max Aerial Truck (Booth No. 2521) lived up to its name in January as a K-Max flown by Skywork Helicopters of Warkworth, New Zealand,, hoisted six sections of an electrical transmission tower, some weighing more than 4,800 pounds, into place near Brisbane, Australia.
Helicopter pioneer, inventor and philanthropist Charles Huron Kaman died Monday at the age of 91. Kaman earned an aeronautical engineering degree in 1940 and later was employed at United Aircraft’s Hamilton Standard division, where he worked with Igor Sikorsky. In 1945, at age 26, he founded Kaman Aircraft and served as its CEO until 1999 and chairman until 2001.
Kaman K-1200, Santa Clarita, Calif., Dec. 17, 2008– The helicopter sustained substantial damage after being upset by a strong gust of wind while standing with engines running and rotors turning. A ground crewman was killed in the accident.
Just a few years ago Eurocopter scored a major coup at an HAI Heli-Expo show, amazing the crowds by introducing a new helicopter as a completely certified aircraft instead of a promise-laden prototype encumbered with the usual waits for first flight, inflated claims of launch customers and delays in FAA approval. Instead, Eurocopter presented its EC 130 as a done deal.
Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace , a subsidiary of Kaman of Bloomfield, Conn., have teamed to market advanced manned and unmanned helicopters worldwide for government applications. The companies intend to develop an unmanned version of the K-Max, already FAA approved for manned operation. The K-Max, with counter-rotating and intermeshing rotors that eliminate the need for a tail rotor, has accumulated more than 200,000 flight hours.