Kaman Aerospace has secured an order from Liechtenstein’s Rotex for a single K-Max Helicopter, the 12th order since production of the type was relaunched.
The company will use the type for logging and aerial lift work.
“Rotex Helicopter AG has been a K-Max operator for over 22 years and has flown over 45,000 flight hours,” says company owner Urs Riebli.
“A new production K-Max will add to our proven aerial lift operations, while providing our customers with a highly reliable low cost solution.”
Kaman re-commenced production of the K-Max at its Bloomfield, Connecticut factory in early 2017 after a 14-year production hiatus.
Kaman built 38 K-Max helicopters over a 10-year production run that began in 1994. Using an inter-meshing main rotor system, the aircraft found application mainly in the forestry sector, supporting loggers and firefighting agencies.
Cirium fleets data shows there are 33 K-Max (also designed K-1200) in service globally spread between 16 operators, of which Rotak operates three examples. The average age of the global fleet is 15 years.
In April, the US Marine Corps (USMC) said it would retrofit its two K-Max helicopters with additional autonomous capabilities to further cargo delivery experimentation with the aircraft.
The USMC’s first experiment with an unmanned K-Max was in Afghanistan in 2011. After a successful trial run, the helicopters flew for three years and delivered two million kilograms (4.5 million pounds) of cargo. In 2016, the helicopters were transferred to MCAS Yuma in Arizona for further experiments.