May 3, 1999 :
Flight Demonstrations of K-Max Aerial Truck
A First For OTC
HOUSTON, Texas ( Kaman Aerospace Press Release ) -
OFFSHORE TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE - Rig operators and energy
producers can activate remotely located operations faster and more economically using the K-MAX® ``aerial truck'' developed by Kaman Aerospace Corp. for moving equipment and supplies.
Kaman will demonstrate K-MAX's external lifting capability at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) here May 3-6,
the first for any oil industry event. K-MAX will lift well testing equipment weighing up to 5,500 pounds during the
demonstrations, which will take place in the northwest corner of the Astrodome parking lot. Each flight will take about 10-15
``K-MAX has been used in Bolivia to construct a drilling rig and support drilling operations in a remote area inaccessible by
road. With K-MAX, the oil company was able to avoid the cost of building a road in the environmentally sensitive area,'' said
Steven Daniels, manager of commercial aircraft operations for Kaman.
``In the Bolivia project, K-MAX operated regularly with temperatures reaching up to 107 F degrees, while transporting
equipment over a mountain range more than 3,000 feet high. In one month, K-MAX logged 135 flight hours and carried about
two million pounds of equipment,'' he said. K-MAX continues to fly oil exploration support elsewhere in South America.
K-MAX also performs well at higher altitudes. In Europe, for example, K-MAX supported a construction project in the Alps, lifting equipment weighing up to 2.2 tons to an altitude of 12,600 feet. (Aircraft performance degrades in hot temperature and/or high altitude conditions.)
K-MAX also has successfully completed several offshore ship replenishment operations for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, and could be used in commercial offshore applications
depending upon mission equipment requirements. K-MAX has a range of 150 nautical miles while carrying a payload of more than 5,280 pounds (at sea level, standard day conditions).
The aircraft's narrow profile gives the pilot an unobstructed view of the load, looking out either side of the aircraft. This visibility enables the pilot to deliver a load to a precise point with the utmost accuracy and control. K-MAX's rugged construction allows it to fly repetitive, short operational cycles eight to ten hours per day.
It also has a smaller fuselage and fewer components than most other helicopters. Fewer components with less airframe weight
give K-MAX increased payload capability and greater reliability with lower manpower, maintenance and spare parts inventory
requirements, according to Daniels.
``This means more time on station for the customer and cost savings across the board,'' Daniels said. ``K-MAX has the lowest maintenance requirements of any currently manufactured medium lift utility helicopter in the world.'' Because it can be operated with a single pilot and a mechanic on the ground, operating costs are about 30-50% less than comparable commercial lift
Kaman operates a two-week training program for pilots at its Bloomfield, Conn., headquarters that covers aircraft familiarization and introduction to vertical reference flight operations. Because the helicopter uses intermeshing rotor technology, there is no need for a tail rotor, which allows all of the engine power to go directly to the main rotors for greater
lifting efficiency. It also makes flying the helicopter easier as the pilot does not need to change pedal position when changing power.
K-MAX has performed well working in power line construction, fire fighting, logging and oil and gas exploration. As of March 1999, the fleet had accumulated 65,000 flight hours since its certification in August 1994. K-MAX helicopters currently are operating in the United States, Canada, Europe, South America and Asia.
Kaman Aerospace Corp. is a subsidiary of the $1 billion Kaman Corp., located in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Besides K-MAX, the company also manufactures the SH-2G Super Seasprite naval helicopter, is a major subcontractor for commercial and military aircraft, and is a leader in electro-optics and advanced technology products.
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