Kaman faces a decision within 60 days to produce a second batch of K-Max helicopter on a recently revived assembly line, says Terry Fogarty, the company's business development director.
Working under a two-month deadline to avoid a break in production, Kaman's sales team were scrambling during the Heli-Expo convention to finalise negotiations on multiple potential deals.
"That's why this show is so important to us," Fogerty says.
Any new buyers may be waiting to see Kaman deliver a new K-Max helicopter for the first time since 2003, when assembly of the medium-sized, heavy-lift helicopter ceased until it was revived a year ago.
Kaman plans to deliver the first in a batch of 10 K-Max helicopters next month to a Chinese dealer, which has resold the aircraft to a firefighting operator in China, Fogerty says.
The last of the initial 10 aircraft will be delivered early next year, he adds.
Kaman restarted production after a 13-year hiatus due to heavy demand for the K-Max to lift up to 2,720kg (6,000lb), leveraging a distinctive inter-meshing rotor system.
The new aircraft are powered by used Honeywell T53 engines, featuring new rotating components manufactured by Mint Turbines, Fogerty says.
If a second batch of production is launched, Kaman will evaluate replacing some obsolete avionics components, but no other upgrades are planned, he says.