K-MAX airframe delivered
Kaman Aerosystems has delivered the first K-MAX airframe from its reopened production line in Jacksonville, Florida, the company announced on 17 January.
The airframe has been delivered to the company's plant in Bloomfield, Connecticut, where it will be assembled, tested and certified. Delivery of the first completed aircraft to an unnamed customer is scheduled for the second quarter of 2017.
Drake Klotzman, air vehicles and MRO division general manager, said: 'Producing the initial airframe is an important milestone for the programme. 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.'
The single-engine, single-seat K-MAX features a counter-rotating rotor system and is optimised for external load operations and vertical reference flight. The aircraft can lift up to 6,000lbs.
K-MAX is designed for firefighting, logging, construction and other missions requiring repetitive aerial lift capabilities. The US Marine Corps maintains two unmanned K-MAX aircraft and deployed the aircraft in Afghanistan between 2011 and 2014.
Additional unmanned firefighting and humanitarian missions for K-MAX are also being developed and tested.
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