In 2011, the United States Marine Corps (USMC) began their first experiments with the Kaman K-Max helicopter in Afghanistan. The shortage of helicopter pilots has ultimately lead the USMC to further research autonomous operations.
The unmanned flight control systems were developed by Lockheed Martin and Kaman, jointly. After initial trial runs were proven to be successful, the helicopters continued operations for another three years. Together, they delivered 4.5 million pounds of cargo into combat zones.
During a US Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Lieutenant General Steven R. Rudder said the Corps plans to further develop the autonomous capabilities of the K-Max helicopters.
“We are trucking them back to Connecticut to get them flying again and having them retrofitted with the systems that will make them autonomous,” he says. “We hope to get them back next year. And that will allow us to go back and experiment more with autonomous systems.”
Using K-Max Helicopters
The Kaman K-Max was originally built as a utility helicopter to repetitively perform external heavy lifts up to 2,722kg. The two sets of intermeshing rotor blades also make the aircraft perfect for firefighting, logging, power/utility construction, and disaster relief!
If you need a versatile, utility aircraft like the K-Max, contact FairLifts. We have an impressive network of experienced operators and top-of-the-line aircraft. We operate with nothing but the utmost professionalism in our missions. Our helicopter experts will handle all logistical aspects that are involved with utility and construction jobs. With decades of combined experience, we handle everything from flight plans to ground crew.
Leave the important details to the experts. All you have to do is call us with the job information and we will handle the rest! Let us get your job done faster and easier at an affordable rate still. We are offering free quotes!