Kaman Aerospace has announced two new orders for its K-Max helicopter, and a commitment to another production batch. The company resumed K-Max production in 2015 after a more than decade long hiatus with an initial commitment to build at least ten new aircraft. With eight commitments to date, the new orders conclude the second production batch.
Colorado-based Mountain Blade Runner Helicopters will become the newest K-Max operator, utilizing the aircraft to support high altitude external lift operations and firefighting missions. “We are adding K-Max to our fleet of AS350B3e helicopters which essentially doubles our lift capability at high altitudes and provides a strong U.S. Forest Service Type 1 firefighting helicopter to combat fires,” stated Bryson Gray, President of Mountain Blade Runner.
St. Louis Helicopter of Sellersburg, Indiana, will also expand its fleet with the addition of a K-Max. The aircraft will be used for agricultural aerial solutions, such as seeding, fertilizing and firefighting, where the increased lift capacity will expand their overall capability. Jim Robinson, Owner of St. Louis Helicopter, said, “the significant increased lift capacity of the K-Max brings expanded business solutions, it cost-effectively serves the expanding needs of our customers, where we have implemented the use of greener aircraft which are quieter and more cost-efficient.”
St. Louis Helicopter will finance their aircraft through a leasing arrangement with Rainier Heli International Inc, which follows the manufacturer’s announcement earlier this year under which Rainer offers K-Max leasing solutions to customers. “As a K-Max owner-operator ourselves for more than two decades, we understand the outstanding value proposition K-Max offers to the external lift market, including firefighting and power line construction,” stated Lon Halvorson, CEO of Rainier. “We are pleased to bring Kaman and St. Louis Helicopter together through our financing alternative.”