One of the few primary endeavors of Kaman, initially developed in August 1994 before getting shut down in 2001.  In 2017, however, the production of the K-MAX has started up again.  The synchrocopter made its first flight in 1991 [1].

A primary design feature of the K-MAX is successfully providing Vertical Reference Flight (VRF), meaning the pilot has a visual of the external load, pick-up, target and surrounding area from the cockpit [2].  The K-MAX has also been operated as an unmanned aircraft.

Source 1: Moorman, Robert W. "Coming Full Circle". Vertiflite, July/August 2015. Published by AHS International. Page 30.

Source 2: Haliscak, George. "Vertical Reference Flight (VRF) The Kaman K-1200 'K-MAX' Helicopter Design". Presented at the AHS 55th Annual Forum, 1999. Page 1.


Data on design, manufacture and status

Design authority: Kaman Aircraft Corporation

Primary manufacturer: Kaman Aircraft Corporation

Parent type: Kaman K-1200 (K-MAX)

Aircraft status: Operational


Primary flight and mechanical characteristics

VTOL type: Helicopter

Lift configuration: Synchropter (x2)

Crew required: 1

Crew seating: Single seater

Landing gear: Wheels (non-retractable)

Overall Dimensions

Data on aircraft size

Overall Height: 4.10 m (13.5 ft)

Overall Length: 15.85 m (52.0 ft)

Overall Width: 16.00 m (52.5 ft)

Engine Details

Aircraft powerplant (lift and/or propulsion)

Total number of engines: 1

Engine designation: Honeywell T53-17A-1 turbine

Engine manufacturer: Honeywell Aerospace

Take-off / rated power: 1343 kW (1800 hp)

Weights and Performance

Data on aircraft weight and flight characteristics

Max Gross Weight (ground): 3175 kg (7000 lb)

Max Gross Weight (airborne): 5443 kg (12000 lb)

Max Range: 495 km (267 nm)

Max Endurance: 2.7 hrs (2.7 hrs)

Related VFS Resources

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