Kaman Aerospace has begun production flight-testing of the first of 10 refurbished SH-2G(I) Super Seasprites that were previously delivered to Australia, but have now been bought by the Royal New Zealand Navy. The milestone opens another chapter in the story of a design that made its first flight (as the HU2K-1) on July 2, 1959, and which became a stalwart of the U.S. Navy’s shipborne helicopter fleet until retired in 2001.
Kaman Aerospace (Booth No. 4922) said it is soliciting customer interest here at Heli-Expo to resume production of the civil variant of its K-Max heavy external lift helicopter. The K-Max was certified in 1994, and autonomously piloted models have recently been flying for the U.S. Marines in Afghanistan. Civil versions of the aircraft have long been used in construction, firefighting and logging applications.
At Heli-Expo 2014 Kaman Aerospace Group (Booth No. 4922) announced that it is expanding its reach. The OEM supplier of helicopters, rotor blades and rotary-wing UAVs and other aerospace components has opened new offices at Clemson University’s graduate campus in Charleston, S.C. The plan is to recruit talent and put a team of Kaman engineers at the nearby Boeing facility in North Charleston. The team is part of the company’s participation in the stress analysis work on Boeing 787 Dreamliner production.
Kaman Aerospace, perhaps best known for its iconic K-Max heavy-lift helicopter, is at Heli-Expo emphasizing its newly reorganized identity as “One Kaman.”
“We’re a company that can handle anything from metal and composite structures to complete systems design, as well as manufacture of tooling–our own and that of our customers,” said Gary Tenison, Kaman Aerospace v-p of business development and marketing.
Although it has long been a well known name in helicopter circles, Kaman Aerospace made its debut as an NBAA Convention exhibitor this year. A manufacturer with facilities throughout the U.S. as well as in Mexico, the UK, Germany and India, Kaman exhibited a carbon monolithic lightweight door structure, a winglet, an aileron for new business jets, and the company’s flight-control bearing products.
Kaman Helicopters’ (Booth No. 5222) K-Max “unmanned aerial truck” has delivered nearly 200,000 pounds of cargo since the helicopter entered service in Afghanistan with the U.S. Marine Corps on December 17. Two of the pilotless, heavy-lift helicopters have logged about 100 hours over the skies of Afghanistan on cargo missions.
Kaman Helicopters’ K-Max “unmanned aerial truck” has delivered nearly 200,000 pounds of cargo since the helicopter entered service in Afghanistan with the U.S. Marine Corps on December 17. To date, two of the pilotless, heavy-lift helicopters have logged about 100 hours in the skies over Afghanistan on cargo missions.
Kaman Aerospace is more diversified organization than many realize, offering what it calls a “total OEM solution.” Over the past year, it has acquired several different companies, the majority of which are composites specialists. To learn more about the company and its current projects, including the K-Max unmanned aerial truck, AIN caught up with Kaman Helicopters president Sal Bordonaro at Heli-Expo.
Kaman Helicopters continues to write new chapters in its history, including the un-manned K-Max, subcontract manufacturing and rotor-blade development and production.
At Heli-Expo’12, Kaman is showcasing its products and services at Booth No. 5222 with executives and technical experts available for the duration of the show.
Lockheed Martin and Kaman Helicopters announced that the K-Max unmanned helicopter has been selected for deployment to Afghanistan. The optionally piloted machine was evaluated with the Boeing A-160 Hummingbird for a U.S. Marine Corps requirement.
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