Thursday, October 15, 2015
Unmanned K-MAX Flies Firefighting Demos
The Unmanned K-MAX flew firefighting demonstration flights for U.S. officials on Oct. 14 outside Boise, Idaho, in Lockheed Martin's and Kaman's latest effort to prove the aircraft's potential for dousing wildland blazes around the clock. Operating from the Lucky Peak Helibase, the Unmanned K-MAX performed cargo drops, single-target water drops and progressive line-building with a bucket. Officials from the U.S. Interior Dept. and the U.S. Forest Service's Fire and Aviation Management office observed the flights. Their interest in the Unmanned K-MAX as a firefighting tool contributed to Kaman's decision earlier this year to resume production of the basic, counter-rotating-rotor helicopter. Lockheed Martin outfits that aircraft with an advanced mission suite for the unmanned version. The companies performed their first Unmanned K-MAX firefighting demonstration a year ago.