Part I

Kaman Helicopters Part II

July 2, 1959 : HU2K-1 Later known as UH-2A Sea Sprite

Production Lists

March 1960 : Kaman develops and flies the first all composite main rotor blade.

October 1961 : The H-43 Huskie sets an altitude record of 10.000 m and numerous rates of climb records.
YUH-2A Prototype

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.

1962 : UH-2A/B production begins

January 1964 :
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

1965 : Tomahawk. A Seasprite derivate with stub wings and a pair of twin guns side-by-side under the nose. Was 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 AH-1 Cobra

1967 : The Sea Sprites are modified into twin turbine helicopters

1969 : US Navy begins LAMPS ( Light Airborne Multipurpose System) development to obtain a on board helicopter for escort ships

1971 : SAVER The Stowable Aircrew Vehicle Escape Rotoseat is the first jet powered autogyro with telescoping rotor blades

May 1973 : SH-2F Sea Sprite The LAMPS I enter 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
SH-2F Seasprite

July 1976 : Kaman designs and begins manufacturing the K-747 blade, the world's first production all-composite rotor blade for the Bell AH-1 Cobra. Total production exceeds 4,000 blades.

April 1985 : Engine testbed for the General Electric T700 engines, which will replace the T58 flew for the first time.

Decemeber 28, 1989 : SH-2G prototype with full avionics first flight

January 1991 : The 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.

February 25, 1993 : SH-2G The new version of the Sea Sprite, with new avionics, mission electronics and GE T-700 engines.

First new production SH-2G was accepted into service with the US Navy Reserve Squadron HSL-84 at NAS North Island, San Diego, CA.

August 1994 : 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.
Flight Demonstrations performed in 1999.

K-Max Production list


November 1998 : Egyptian Air Force accepts delivery of its 10th SH-2G Super Sea Sprite for use in anti-submarine warfare missions, completing the order and becoming the first international customer to operate the aircraft.

1999 : K-MAX - The K-1200 is used by the Broad-area Unmanned Responsive Resupply Operations (BURRO) in conjunction with the Slice Multi Task Boat for providing over the horizon sea-based logistics. is also used for resupplying ships at sea.


August 1999 : New Zealand approves purchase of SH-2G(NZ)

January 2000 : Australia begin initial flight testing of SH-2G(A)

January 2001 : US Government purchase 5 K-MAX for Peru

User Contributed Notes

lin lyons ( moraga calif usa )
While reading the Kaman history, I noted the altitude record, recorded in Oct 1961. I worked at Kaman during the summer of 61. Normally I worked at the old Fuller Brush Plant in Hartford, Ct, but sometimes at the Bloomfield plant. There was a 3rd plant, in Moosup, but I never went there. I remember one day when 2-3 Sikorsky (military) helicopters arrived at Bloomfield, and the Kaman workers were amazed, watching them change the blade angles while parked. The Kaman copters couldn't do that because their blades actually twisted, driven by a flap on the outer section of the rotor. The blades were securely bolted to the hub.

The occasion was the altitude record test. The Kaman folks rolled out a standard H-43. The Navy folks said something like, "You're going to use that?" Anyway, a few days later, there was a test version, that was a bit lighter. The co-pilot's seat had been removed, the passenger door had been replaced with some sheet metal. 2/3s of the screws fastening the cockpit glass to the frame had been removed. I suspect that lots of internal stuff had been removed, that we couldn't see. The rotor brake had been removed, and 2 hours later when it landed again, the rotor continued to spin for half an hour or so. This was in August, 1961 - I left at the end of August to go back to school.

Every week or two, the rumor came around that they'd dropped another test copter in some farmer's pasture. Sure made us all feel -- uh -- like we were glad someone else was flying. Couple years later I went on a tour of the Sikorsky plant in Stratford, Ct. One of the stories was about on pilot who was testing the minimum height at which auto-rotation could be used to land safely. My recollection was around 500'. The pilot was killed when he tried it too low. There was another (Texan) test pilot who could loop the S-51. The S-55 was too heavy.

bill wagemaker ( granby ct. usa )
The altitude record was obtained with an aircraft that was stripped for weight savings- however a standard H43 was sent along to act as a chase plane-find favorable updrafts , etc. and came within a couple hundred feet of the stripped aircraft which had the altitude recording instrumentation in it. When they reached altitude the aircraft were over Stafford Springs CT. and could be seen from the Kaman factory in Bloomfield CT. about 35 land miles away.

Michael R Atchley ( DFW Area, Texas )
I believe that my dad worked for Kaman in the1982-1992 time frame. Im sorry I cant be more specific. He was a called a job-shopper, and worked for many aerospace firms during that time frame and others. These included Rockwell, Martin-Marietta (and later Lockheed-Martin), Boeing, LTV, Northrup-Griummen, and more. He was a problem-solver in laymens terms, but actually a metallurgic specialist and was extremely knowledgeable about the mechanics of flight and tooling, especially for maximization of production. His name was Ernest C. Atchley, Jr. Some referred to him as Sonny, or Ernie. He worked at the Hartford, Connecticut plant and was considered one of the most sought-after of his kind in the business.

Mike Keyes ( Kansas City )
Im not an engineer, but Ive been surprised that the dual-contrarotor mixmaster configuration hasnt been utilized more often. Its a fairly elegant answer to the problems of torque and lift efficiency. Also, while it still would encounter problems with advancing/trailing differential lift and stall characteristics at high speed, the problems would be symmetrical about the yaw axis, wouldnt they? Im probably missing something - like I said, Im not an engineer.

Add note to this page

Latest News

Composite Tail Rotor Blade for Bell 206

Aerial Firefighting North America Conference 2018

Honeywell HAPP Protection for Bristow AW139

Honeywell Aspire and SkyConnect From PAG

Bell Helicopter Rebrands To “Bell

ESG Upgrades Rheinland-Pfalz Polizei EC135

S.A.F.E. Structure Unveils Engine CAN All-In-One

Garmin G500H TXi Displays for R44 and R66



Promote Your Services Here

share facebook     twitter     google     linkedin

Viewpoint Saxon

Promote Your Services Here