Unmanned K-Max Helicopter Demonstrates Successful Cargo Resupply
February 9, 2010 –
Lockheed Martin Corporation and Kaman Aerospace Corporation successfully
demonstrated to the U.S. Marine Corps the capability of the Unmanned
K-MAX helicopter to resupply troops by unmanned helicopter at forward
operating bases in
During a series of flights last week in subfreezing temperatures at the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground, UT, the Unmanned K-MAX demonstrated autonomous and remote control flight over both line-of-sight and satellite-based beyond line-of-sight data link.
“We met or
exceeded the requirements within the scheduled three-day timeframe of
the demonstration,” said Dan Spoor, Aviation Systems vice president at
Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems & Sensors facility in
attributes demonstrated included hovering at 12,000 ft. with a
1,500-pound sling load; delivering 3,000 pounds of cargo well within the
six-hour required timeframe to a forward operating base (two 150 nm
round-trip flights); remotely controlling flight and a precision load
delivery by a ground-based operator in both day and night conditions;
and uploading a new mission plan to the aircraft’s mission management
system during flight.
As an optional demonstration, Team K-MAX showcased the Unmanned K-MAX helicopter’s four-hook carousel, which enables multi-load deliveries in a single flight. Lifting a total cargo of 3,450 pounds, the aircraft flew to three pre-programmed delivery coordinates, autonomously releasing a sling load at each location. At the customer’s request, the fourth load delivery was performed under manual control by the ground operator.
System performed operationally representative cargo resupply scenarios,
and each time the system delivered as promised,” said Sal Bordonaro,
President, Kaman Helicopters, a division of Kaman Aerospace Corporation.
“This capability gives the Marine Corps a proven unmanned power lifter
to bring vital cargo to troops on the battlefield without the need for
ground vehicles and manned helicopters.” Team K-MAX has flown the
Unmanned K-MAX nearly 400 hours in unmanned mode since 2007. The
demonstration fulfilled an $860,000 U.S. Marine Corps contract awarded
to K-MAX manufacturer Kaman Aerospace in August 2009.
founded in 1945 by aviation pioneer Charles H. Kaman, and headquartered
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