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he would need data and lots of it. Charles Kaman knew that he needed to develop a test rig to collect data but with World War II going on he was unable to obtain the necessary materials. After exhausting several avenues and setting himself up as the Kaman Aircraft Laboratory, he was able to get the War Production Board to grant him priority status; effectively giving him the ability to purchase all the necessary materials to construct his rotor head (Kaman, 1985). To build the test stand he bought a 1933 Pontiac from a junk yard and a found a Dodge truck rear axle from which he created a towable trailer with the Pontiac engine as the power plant and the upright Dodge rear axle as the transmission. A $1.75 piece of spruce was used for the rotor blades, a standard bathroom scale was added to measure lift and testing began. All of the testing was done at night or on the weekends and after many trial and error corrections Charles Kaman had collected enough data to present his ideas to the engineering management at the Hamilton Division of United Aircraft. Unfortunately, they were not impressed and denied his request for a place to further develop his ideas and a technician to assist him. His determina- tion to see his idea become a reality led him leave and found his own company. So it was, a promising five year career as an aerodynamicist at one of the most reputable helicopter companies of the day was now over and he had no idea what the future would hold. Only his hard work and determination would get him through the days and months ahead. With $5000.00 of equipment and two $1000.00 loans from his friends, the Kaman Aircraft Corporation was started in 1945 by then 26 year old Charles Kaman. He was all too aware that one of the

major problems plaguing helicopters of the day was a lack of power. He decided to pursue the intermeshing rotor system as a means to increase the power available for lift by eliminating the power requirement of the tail rotor. With the intermeshing rotor head and the servo flap control system in hand, the small but dedi- cated staff of the Kaman Aircraft Corporation set about to develop their first helicopter. Money was tight and the first employees worked in the West Hartford garage of Charles Kaman’s mother. Charles Kaman was not only intimately involved in design and construction but also worked tirelessly to find investors for the fledgling company. He knew that he had a devoted and capable staff but without new investors they wouldn’t survive long enough to get a helicopter in the air. Their first breakthrough came in 1947 when the K-125 made its first flight. This single seat, piston powered helicopter had finally given Kaman Aircraft a product, but unfortunately it wasn’t able to sell it. Due to several recent aviation accidents the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA) had instituted new certification requirements that would total nearly $500,000.00 to complete. The company simply did not have the money to quickly obtain certification and several previously eager investors declined to support them. Crop dusting was found to be one area where full certification was not required and the Kaman staff set to work to develop an improved version of the K- 125 the K-190. To say money was tight would be an understatement. Many of the original employees worked for stock in the company and on weekends barnstorming sessions were held to attract potential investors from the local area.

Finally, the K-190 received CAA certification in April of 1949 and

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