November 28, 2018

Kaman wins 2 more K-MAX orders

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
Kaman CEO and Chairman Neal J. Keating.

Bloomfield aerosystems maker Kaman Corp. says it won orders for two more of its K-MAX workhorse helicopters to be used for farming and fighting wildfires in the Midwest and West.

Kaman Aerospace said Wednesday that Mountain Blade Runner Helicopters, of Montrose, Colo., St. Louis Helicopter, of Sellersburg, Ind., are its two latest customers for its single-seat, twin counter-rotating blade aircraft.

Prices for the aircraft were not disclosed.

Newcomer Mountain Blade Runner Helicopters President Bryson Gray said his company will use its K-MAX for high-altitude external lifts and for fighting forest fires.

St. Louis Helicopter owner Jim Robinson says his machine will expand his existing fleet used for agricultural seeding and fertilizing, as well as firefighting. Rainier Heli International Inc. will finance St. Louis' K-MAX lease.

"We are finding that operators are evaluating their entire fleet and looking to expand their overall capabilities and K-MAX provides a much-needed solution," said Darlene Smith, general manager in Kaman Aerosystems' air vehicles division.

The K-MAX was first flight-certified by the U.S. in 1994. It can lift up to 6,000 pounds.

Renewed demand for the K-MAX helicopters, particularly from China, has fueled the aircraft's journey back into production.

A year ago, Kaman said it sold all of its initial production of 10 machines and is now into its third production allotment. In May, Kaman announced the first successful flight of its relaunched bird, which is used by loggers, construction contractors, farmers, even the U.S. Marines.

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