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earn a reputation as a workhorse, capable of handling a variety of missions with outstanding performance at high altitude and dependability in aircraft firefighting and combat search and rescue roles. With the H-43 series Kaman Aircraft had firmly established itself in the helicopter industry. So in 1956, when the Navy was looking for a new utility hel- icopter that would expand the limits of current heli- copter capabilities, Kaman was confident that they could compete with Sikorsky, Bell and Vertol. Kaman Aircraft actually submitted two proposals for the Navy solicitation, one with intermeshing rotors and one of the main rotor and tail rotor configuration, both had the servo-flap control sys- tem. The Navy selected Kaman’s main rotor and tail rotor configuration and in 1959 the HU-2 Seasprite made its first flight. Later redesignated


the UH-2 or SH-2, the Seasprite was one of the most technologically advanced helicopters of its time. It combined a robust navigation package with anti-ice capability, a hull capable of water landings and a fine- ly tuned rotor system allowing speeds up to 165 miles per hour while minimizing vibration levels (Kaman, 1985). The UH/SH-2 series saw numerous upgrades


over the years with many of the earlier models being converted to newer configurations. The original sin- gle gas turbine design was later upgraded to dual gas turbines, which were in turn upgraded to more power- ful engines. In 1970 the Seasprite was selected by the Navy to be the platform for the Light Airborne Multi- Purpose System or LAMPS Mark I. LAMPS used a helicopter to provide anti- submarine warfare capa- bilities to naval ships. The LAMPS Mark I require- ments evolved into the “F” series Seasprite. The Seasprite series entered U.S. Navy service in 1962 and continued as an active airframe until the last Super Seasprite was retired by the U.S. Naval Reserve in 2001. Over 250 Seasprite airframes, of several variants, were built and it is still being flown by several foreign militaries.


In the early 1990s the Kaman Corporation


embarked on a private venture to create an affordable helicopter that could specifically fill the need for an “aerial truck”. The result was the K-Max, an inter- meshing rotor head aircraft with servo flap controls, powered by a single 1,800 horsepower gas turbine engine. The K-Max made its maiden flight in December of 1991 and proved capable of lifting over


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