US-based Kaman Aerosystems has successfully supplied its first airframe from the re-opened K-MAX production line in Jacksonville, Florida, to its facility in Bloomfield, Connecticut.
The aircraft will undergo its assembly, testing, and certification at the Bloomfield plant.
The supply of the first K-MAX aircraft is slated to take place during the second quarter of this year, after completion of the remaining assembly and testing at the company’s facility.
Kaman Aerosystems air vehicles and MRO (AVMRO) division general manager Drake Klotzman said: “There will be a number of efforts occurring simultaneously over the next few months, including the assembly of the aircraft, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) production certification efforts, customary one-time inspections associated with the first aircraft, and flight test.
“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.”
K-MAX is a single-engine, single-seat rugged low-maintenance aircraft that includes a counter-rotating rotor system, and is designed for external load operations and vertical reference flight.
The Kaman Aerosystems aircraft has the ability to lift up to 6,000lb (2,722kg).
The aircraft first received FAA certification in 1994, and is used worldwide for firefighting, logging and construction, as well as other missions that need repetitive aerial lift capabilities.
The US Marine Corps maintains two unmanned K-MAX aircraft developed with Lockheed Martin.
Unmanned firefighting and humanitarian missions for K-MAX aircraft are also being developed and tested.
Image: The first K-MAX aircraft manufactured at Kaman’s Jacksonville facility is painted at the company’s Bloomfield plant. Photo: courtesy of Kaman Aerosystems.