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)

Layout and Dimensions

Data on aircraft size

As of 1999, the airframe was of a semi-monocoque 2024-T3 and T42 alclad sheet aluminum alloy structure with steel hardpoints accessories, etc [2].

Overall Dimensions
Overall Height: 4.10 m 13.5 ft
Overall Length: 15.85 m 52.0 ft
Overall Width: 16.00 m 52.5 ft
Airframe Dimensions
Airframe Length: 12.70 m 41.7 ft
Airframe Width: 3.80 m 12.5 ft
Airframe Height: 4.00 m 13.1 ft
Landing Gear Dimensions
Landing Gear Base: 4.30 m 14.1 ft
Landing Gear Track: 3.68 m 12.1 ft
Cabin Dimensions
Cabin Internal Height:  
Cabin Internal Length:  
Cabin Internal Width:  

Weights and Performance

Data on aircraft weight and flight characteristics

NE-Speed varies according to altitude. ROC at 6000 lb (~2700 kg) Gross Weight.

Max Gross Weight (ground): 3,175 kg 7,000 lb
Max Gross Weight (airborne): 5,443 kg 12,000 lb
Max Take-off Weight: 3,175 kg 7,000 lb
Empty Weight: 2,334 kg 5,146 lb
Useful Load: 841 kg 1,854 lb
Empty Weight Fraction: 0.735
Climb Performance
Max Rate of Climb: 13 m/s 2,500 fpm
Hover Performance
Hover Ceiling IGE: 5,443 m 17,858 ft
Hover Ceiling OGE: 5,216 m 17,113 ft
Max Level Flight Speed: 148 km/h 80 kts
Never Exceed Speed: 185 km/h 100 kts
Service Ceiling: 4,572 m 15,000 ft
Range and Endurance
Max Range: 495 km 267 nm
Max Endurance: 3 hrs 3 hrs

Engine Details

Aircraft powerplant (lift and/or propulsion)

Provided powerplant data is for uninstalled, sea level, static operations.

Number of engines: 1
Designation: Honeywell T53-17A-1 turbine
Manufacturer: Honeywell Aerospace
Normal Ratings
Max continuous:  
Take-off / rated: 1343 kW 1800 hp
OEI Ratings
OEI contingency:  
OEI continuous:  
OEI 30-second:  
OEI intermediate:  

Primary Lift Device

Data on primary lift devices such as main rotors

The Main Rotor has a 23012 airfoil. The servo flap is 876 mm long with a 216 mm chord and 63018 airfoil.

Main Rotor Characteristics
Diameter: 14.60 m 47.90 ft
RPM: 270.0 rpm 270.0 rpm
Direction of Rotation: Counter-rotating
Hub Type: Teetering rotor system (with lead and lag), Rigid in plane
Main Rotor Blade Characteristics
Blade Construction: Composite; Kevlar servo flap with stainless steel lead edge
Blade Chord: 0.437 m 1.43 ft
Blade Tip Geometry: Flat
Blade Twist: -0.122 rad -7.000 deg
Number of Blades: 2
Main Rotor Derived Characteristics
Disc Area: 167.42 m² 1802.1 ft²
Disc Loading: 9.48 kg/m² 1.942 lb/ft²
Solidity: 0.0381
Main Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
Blade area per blade: 3.19 m² 34.3 ft²
Tip Speed: 206.40 m/s 677.2 fps

Primary Control Device

Data on primary control devices such as tail rotors

Tail Rotor Characteristics
Configuration: Unknown
Direction of Rotation: Unknown
Tail Rotor Blade Characteristics
Number of Blades:  
Blade Construction: N/A
Blade Chord:  
Blade Twist:  
Tail Rotor Derived Characteristics
Disc Area:  
Tail Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
Tip Speed:  
Blade Area (per blade):  

Related VFS Resources

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Related Public Resources

Resources related to the K-MAX (K-1200), provided by public sources across the internet.