Kaman Aircraft was founded in 1945 by Charles Kaman. During the first ten years the company operated exclusively as a designer and manufacturer of several helicopters that set world records and achieved many aviation firsts.
Since 1956 Kaman began to diversify as an aerospace subcontrator of McDonnell Douglas, Grumman and others. In the mid-1960's Kaman diversified outside of the aerospace industry: with the expertise Kaman had gained in composite materials and the end of the need for skilled woodworkers to craft wooden rotor blades, the stage was set for a new venture. Charles Kaman, a guitarist as well as an aerospace pioneer, worked with his engineers and other musicians to create the round-backed, composite-body Ovation guitar, which revolutionized the guitar industry and led to the eventual creation of Kaman Music. Kaman Music is the largest independent distributor of musical instruments and accessories in the United States and a major producer of guitars and guitar parts and accessories.
Under Charles Kaman, Kaman Corporation had a no-layoff policy, something almost unheard in the world of rapidly changing fortunes dependent on defense and aerospace contracts.
With $2,000 and his invention of the servo-flap controlled rotor , 26-year-old Charles Kaman founded the company.
January 15, 1947
K-125 - Kaman's first helicopter
K-225 - An improved version of the K-125; the U.S. Navy bought two and the Coast Guard one for $25,000 each. Later, they will receive the H-22 designation.
A modified K-225 equipped with a Boeing 502 engine becomes the world's first gas turbine powered helicopter , ushering in the turbine age for helicopters. This aircraft is now at the Smithsonian
Kaman produced the first electrically powered drone
Ordered for the U.S. Marine Corps, the HOK-1 first flies; Air Force version was the H-43A Huskie
K-16 A V/STOL designed around a rotoprop
A modified Kaman HTK-1 becomes the world's first twin-turbine powered helicopter
HH-43 Huskie - A variant of the OH-43, equipped with a Lycoming T-53 gas turbine engine
Rotor diameter: 14.33 m each
Length: 7.62 m
Height: 4.74 m
Weight: 2000 kg - Max: 4150
Engine: 1 Avco Lycoming T53-L-1B of 825 hp
Speed: Max: 190 km/h
Range: 450 km
Service Ceiling: 7600 m
QH-43 - Another modified HTK-1 becomes the world's first remotely piloted vehicle
K-17 - A cold-tipped jet powered helicopter
Rotor diameter: 11.3 m
Weight: 430 kg - Max: 900
Engine: 1 Turbomeca Turmo of 600 hp
Speed: Max: 120 km/h
Endurance: 2 hours
Service Ceiling: 1500 m
July 2, 1959
HU2K-1; later known as UH-2A SeaSprite
Kaman develops and flies the first all composite main rotor blade.
The H-43 Huskie sets an altitude record of 10.000 m and numerous rate of climb records.
During the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the Huskie flew more rescue missions than all other aircraft combined - with the best safety record of any U.S. military aircraft.
UH-2A / B production begins
First flight of Kaman's experimental Convertiplane equipped with a J-85 engine and wings from a Beechcraft Queen Air. The aircraft achieves speeds of over 320 km/h
A Sea Sprite derivate with stub wings and a pair of twin guns side-by-side under the nose.
Kaman's proposal for the US Army 's interim gunship helicopter between the AAFSS ( AH-56 ) and AAH ( AH-64 ) competitions. Lost against the Bell 209 AH-1 HueyCobra
SeaSprites are modified into twin turbine helicopters
US Navy begins LAMPS ( Light Airborne Multipurpose System) development to obtain a on board helicopter for escort ships
SAVER - The Stowable Aircrew Vehicle Escape Rotoseat is the first jet powered autogyro with telescoping rotor blades
SH-2_SeaspriteF Sea Sprite - The LAMPS I enters US Navy service
Rotor diameter: 13.41 m
Length: 16.03 m
Height: 4.72 m
Weight: 3200 kg - Max: 6100
Engine: 2 x GE T58-GE-8F of 1350 hp each
Speed: Max: 240 km/h
Range: 660 km
Kaman designs and begins manufacturing the K-747 blade, the world's first production all-composite rotor blade for the Bell AH-1 Cobra helicopter. Total production exceeds 4,000 blades.
Magic Lantern, a new laser-based mine countermeasures system, is deployed in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm. It is highly successful in locating mines.
SH-2_SeaspriteG - The new version of the SeaSprite, with new avionics, mission electronics and GE T-700 engines, enters US Navy service
K-1200 K-MAX "aerial truck"
The world's first helicopter specifically designed, tested and certified for repetitive external lift operations and vertical reference flight, an important feature for external load work. The aircraft's narrow profile gives the pilot an unprecedented view of the load looking out either side of the aircraft.
The K-MAX is based on Kaman's unique intermeshing rotor technology with servo-flap control. The aircraft has counter-rotating main rotors and no tail rotor, which allows all engine power to go directly to the main rotors for the highest lifting efficiency of any rotor configuration.
The K-MAX receives FAA certification in record time.
The Egyptian Air Force accepts delivery of its 10th SH-2G Super Seasprite for use in anti-submarine warfare missions, completing the order and becoming the first international customer to operate the aircraft.
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