The Kaman K-1200 K-Max of Rotex Helicopter (Image (CC) André Völzke)

Kaman K-Max debut in China

The Kamax team in Bloomfield, Connecticut, must be happy. The company just secured its first ever Chinese order for its very special K-Max heavy-lift utility chopper, possibly opening up a new market.

Lectern Aviation Supplies has agreed to buy two choppers of the type, according to a press release by Kaman. They will be operated to service the China Department of Forestry, as fire-fighting rotary wing.


The K-Max K-1200 – as the full name of the type goes – uses intermeshing rotors. Despite its small size this synchropter is able to transport payloads of about 6,000 pounds (2,720 kg). The Chinese deal is part of a larger set of orders which meant that the US company could restart a low-rate serial production of the K-Max – with the first new machines going to customers – including Lectern – in 2017.

US Marines unmanned airlift helicopter

Between 1991 and 2003 Kaman also produced the K-Max. Of the 38 machines built back then, 22 or 23 are still “alive”. Even the US Marines have seen potential in the machine, with two unmanned versions of the K-Max having gone through airlift test trials in Afghanistan. The K-Max costs only about 1,200 US dollar per hour to fly, making it a very affordable asset.

© 2015 editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: The Kaman K-1200 K-Max of Rotex Helicopter (Image (CC) André Völzke)