On April 23, 2002, the Snaking Fire started behind Platte Canyon High School.
On April 26, 2002, the K-MAX N132KA joined the battle and quickly captured attention.

This Kaman K-MAX K1200 N132KA is owned and operated by Mountain West Helicopters
kmax slide
Photos by Mike Quaintance © 2002

    The first K-MAX "aerial truck" was certified by the FAA in August of 1994 in record time. The K-MAX combines features specifically designed for the highest level of safety and reliability, lowest operating costs, and overall viability for medium to heavy lift applications.
    The K-MAX was the first helicopter specifically designed, tested and certified for repetitive external lift operations. Its design makes it a workhorse for such operations as logging, fire fighting, construction, and exploration. The Kaman Aerospace K-MAX is based on a unique intermeshing "Synchro-Lift" rotor technology using counter-rotating main rotors and servo-flap system with no tail-rotor, leaving all of the power available to the rotors for lift.
    NOTAR (technically a Boeing term for NO TAil Rotor) technology, also results in an extremely quiet and much safer operation.

    Bailey residents aren't the only ones fascinated by this unique craft. We were able to identify the craft through a website built by Swiss enthusiast Markus Herzig. Markus' Aviation World is the most comprehensive site on this craft that I've found anywhere.

Cheryl Quaintance joins the crew
(tsk tsk - we thought Cheryl was strictly a fixed wing gal)
"The Kaman K-Max is quite a machine. It has a sea level load capacity of 6000 pounds. That has to be reduced somewhat for density altitude (a meteorological formula based on actual altitude, barometric pressure, and temperature) to compute what an aircraft can get airborne with payload and fuel. They were able to lift 660 gallons of water (x8 pounds per gallon) or about 5200 pounds."
Mike Quaintance
"The rotors are made out of a single piece of cedar carefully cut and shaped and then cut in half. It is balanced to 1 gram and 50/1000ís of an inch end to end!
The pilot said that the K-Max is fairly stable in a hover but a rock and roll beast while cruising at its max speed of 100 knots. On a cross country flight with a headwind he will see truckers passing him! It only uses about 70 gallons of fuel per hour while at work. This compares to the Sky Crane using about 650 gallons per hour!"

Mike Quaintance

Super slim design for such a work horse

We are grateful for the assistance of the K-MAX and
ALL air support that helped save the community from the Snaking Fire
"This machine is a 1995 model and has about 10,000 hours of flight time! That is a lot so it must pay well for itself!"
Mike Quaintance

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