“I knew Charlie, I was put on his call list earlier than anybody, meaning if they couldn’t reach my boss, the Manager of Contracts, they would call me if Charlie had a question...Mr. Kaman himself, he was family oriented, he had a warm handshake… Charlie instilled a motive, a purpose, entrepreneurship, but also just doing the job the best you could under the circumstances, and trying to give 115%.”
- Jim Watt, NEAM Docent
Charles H. Kaman was born in 1919. Fascinated with flight but unable to become a pilot due to deafness in one ear, Kaman worked at both Hamilton Standard and Sikorsky before founding his own company, Kaman Aircraft Company (now Kaman Corporation), in 1945. Kaman was a pioneer of rotary wing flight. In addition to incorporating intermeshing rotor blades into some of his aircraft, Kaman also utilized his own patented servo-flap design for greater pitch stability and control. A true renaissance man, Kaman also founded Ovation Instruments (KMCMusicorp) as well as the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation.
The New England Air Museum is home to several Kaman aircraft, including one of the oldest surviving Kaman helicopters, the K-225. The K-225 was an prototype for the HTK, the first Kaman helicopter to be evaluated by the U.S. Navy, and was the world's first helicopter powered by gas turbines. The museum's K-225 is the fifth helicopter ever produced by Kaman Aircraft and is currently on display as part of a new multimedia exhibit chronicling the life and career of Charles H. Kaman.