Charles H. Kaman Dies At 91


Charles Kaman is credited with introducing the first turbine-powered helicopter in 1951, and the first remote-controlled helicopter in 1957; he died Monday at age 91, leaving a much longer list for his lifetime of achievements. To build helicopters, Kaman founded a corporation that shared his name. Its H-43 Husky earned the distinction during the Korean conflict and Vietnam war of flying more rescue missions than all other aircraft combined, according to the Air Mobility Command museum. The company’s SH-2 Seasprite amassed roughly 1.5 million hours in service with the Navy. Kaman’s work earned him the National Aeronautical Society’s Wright Brothers Award Trophy and the U.S Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal. He has been inducted into the National Museum of Naval Aviation’s Hall of Honor, among other distinctions. Kaman’s work wasn’t limited to aviation.

With his wife, Roberta, Kaman founded the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation in the 1960s, which places guide dogs with the disabled. Kaman’s guitars have been used by John Lennon, Glen Campbell and Jimmy Page. Kaman’s later work included the K-Max helicopter. Dubbed the aerial truck, the helicopter is capable of lifting and transporting three tons. Kaman was remembered this week by publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal to Premier Guitar.