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Kaman authorises second batch of K-Max helicopter production

Kaman Aerosystems has decided to built at least 10 more K-Max helicopters, extending the revived assembly line for at least two more years, the company announces on 14 June.

"Continued demand and interest in the capabilities of the K-Max have provided us the confidence to extend production into 2019 at a minimum," says Greg Steiner, president of Kaman Aerospace Group.

The distinctive heavy-lift helicopter featuring two inter-meshing rotors and no tail rotor entered production in the early 1990s. Kaman delivered dozens of aircraft mainly to logging and wilderness firefighting companies.

Kaman shut down production in 2003, but revived the assembly line in 2015. The company committed to build 10 more aircraft, with deliveries beginning earlier this spring.

In March, Kaman said it was facing a decision within two months on whether to extend production beyond the first 10 aircraft. A decision had to be made before June to avoid a break in the production system.

Kaman has not revealed any plans to update the K-Max, but said in the interview in March that it would consider replacing obsolete avionics if a second batch of 10 aircraft was approved.

The aircraft are powered by used Honeywell T53 engines that are overhauled with new rotating components.

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