Kaman Aerosystems (Kaman) (NYSE:KAMN) announced today that it has successfully delivered its first airframe from the re-opened K-MAX® production line in Jacksonville, Florida to the Company’s plant in Bloomfield, Connecticut where it will undergo final assembly, testing, and certification.
“There will be a number of efforts occurring simultaneously over the next few months, including the assembly of the aircraft, FAA production certification efforts, customary one-time inspections associated with the first aircraft, and flight test.”
“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. Producing the initial airframe is an important milestone for the program,” according to Drake Klotzman, Air Vehicles & MRO (AVMRO) Division General Manager. “There will be a number of efforts occurring simultaneously over the next few months, including the assembly of the aircraft, FAA production certification efforts, customary one-time inspections associated with the first aircraft, and flight test.” Klotzman also stated, “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.
The single-engine, single-seat K-MAX® is a rugged low-maintenance aircraft that features a counter-rotating rotor system and is optimized for external load operations and designed specifically for vertical reference flight. The aircraft can lift up to 6,000 pounds (2,722 kg).
Development of the K-MAX® was led by Kaman founder and former CEO, aviation pioneer Charles H. Kaman, and received Federal Aviation Administration certification in 1994. The aircraft are used around the world for firefighting, logging, construction and other missions requiring repetitive aerial lift capabilities. The U.S. Marine Corps maintains two unmanned K-MAX® aircraft developed with Lockheed Martin. These aircraft successfully supported the U.S. Marine Corps in Afghanistan for thirty-three months from 2011-2014 carrying more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo. Development efforts to increase the military mission capabilities of the unmanned platform continue. Additional unmanned firefighting and humanitarian missions for K-MAX® are also being developed and tested.
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