Kaman Delivers First New-build K-Max in Fourteen Years

 - July 17, 2017, 11:31 AM
At a delivery ceremony on July 13 at the Kaman factory in Bloomfield, Connecticut, the OEM handed over the first K-Max to be built since production resumed in 2015. It went to Lectern Aviation of China, where two K-Maxes will be used for firefighting. (Photo: Mark Phelps, AIN)

On Thursday, July 13, Kaman Aerospace delivered the first new-build K-Max “Aerial Truck” helicopter since 2003. The bright orange twin-rotor helicopter is now on its way to northeast China, where Lectern Aviation, Kaman’s in-country sales agent, will deliver it to its operator, Guangdong Juxiang General Aviation, which is based in Guangdong Province. The K-Max is one of two ordered, and will be used primarily for firefighting. A second will be delivered this week.

Kaman director of business development Terry Fogarty told AIN that Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) approval is expected imminently, at which point the two helicopters will be B-registered in China. He said support would come from Oregon-based Swanson Group Aviation, with parts supplied by Kaman. Referring to its original production starting in the early 1990s, he added that one of the K-Max’s chief advantages is its simplicity and ease of maintenance and repair: “It’s state-of-the-art 1994, a flying pickup truck with muddy floors.”

Neal Keating, chairman, president and CEO or parent company Kaman Corp. said the Bloomfield, Connecticut-based OEM hopes to expand in China. Fogarty said construction roles for K-Max helicopters are envisioned as China continues to expand its infrastructure. Meanwhile, the third new-build K-Max is slated for delivery next month to Switzerland’s Rotex Helicopter for use in Lichtenstein. Kaman recently announced plans to continue production until at least 2019.