The K-MAX helicopter, which can fly with or without a pilot and has already proven its worth in Afghanistan, has now taken up residence in Yuma, Arizona. While overseas, the K-MAX was able to keep multiple convoys off of the road, while lifting nearly five million pounds in total. No convoys on roads equals no chances for IED attacks on convoys. This is a very good thing. The two airframes will be using the ranges in and around Yuma for testing and operations. If you’re in the area, keep your eyes peeled for these unique looking whirly-birds!

The Marine Corps’ first two Kaman K-MAX Helicopters arrived at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. May 7, 2016.

The Kaman K-MAX Helicopter is very unique in many ways, such as its purpose and design. It is a helicopter with interlinking rotors whose primary mission is to provide cargo load operations with a maximum payload of 6,000 pounds.

K-MAX Helicopter Arrives at MCAS Yuma

“The most unique thing is this aircraft can fly itself,” said Jerry McCawley, a Chief Pilot and Flight Safety Engineer with Lockheed Martin. “These two particular aircraft were over in Afghanistan for almost three years flying unhanded, and moving almost five million pounds of cargo, keeping numerous convoys off the road, preventing any roadside attacks.”

The K-MAX will utilize MCAS Yuma’s training ranges in both Arizona and California, and will soon have an integral part in testing and operations.
As MCAS Yuma continues expanding its scope of operations, the K-MAX will continue revolutionizing expeditionary Marine air-ground combat power in all environments.

“It’s very resilient and can fly day or night,” said McCawley. “It’s out here in Yuma for future test and development with the Marines. It’s great now, and it’s only going to get better.”

The original article can be read in its entirety at right here.
(Fearture photo by Pfc. George Melendez)