Kaman K-16C Project


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26 May 2006
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the Kaman K-16C was a project for K-16 with a Kaman HU2K
helicopter fuselage and fixed wing aircraft empennage,but it
did not result in the USN contract.

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Well, that all means what you mean by 'contract'.
This project involved a Grumman JRF-5 (04353) which was converted as the Kaman K-16B tilt wing VTOL aircraft, fitted with a tilting 34', 10.36 m and two General Electric T-58-GE-2A. Only tethered tests were conducted before the US Navy terminated the programme that had lasted from 1954 to 1962. Some references suggest that 2 Lycoming T-53-L-2 engines were fitted but this may relate to an unbuilt K-16 version.
Since the 'US Navy terminated the progamme', there must have been a contract of some sort, be it definitely not a production contract.
The fact that it did not get a designation (like all the aircaft shown on the website you mentioned) does not mean it was not on a US Navy contract. The US Navy simply did not have an X designation like the USAAF/USAF so, consequently, they came up with these strange designations.
Do not confuse this by thinking 'no designation = no contract'.
There are three totally distinct designs carrying the K-16 designation.

  • K-16A was a COIN aircraft project resembling the NAA OV-10 Bronco.
  • K-16B was the tilt-wing conversion of a Grumman Goose that you just mentioned.
  • K-16C was apparently meant to be a Seasprite with wings...

Why three such distinct aircraft under one number is beyond me.
There actually WAS a Seasprite with wings, the YUH-2 compound helicopter... Wonder if this could have received said K-16C designation.


  • UH-2 Compound Seasprite.jpg
    UH-2 Compound Seasprite.jpg
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  • seasprite compound helicopter.jpg
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  • Jet-Boosted UH-2 (July 1964).jpg
    Jet-Boosted UH-2 (July 1964).jpg
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Text from JAWA 1966-67:
Under US Army Transportation Research Command contract, Kaman is carrying out a high-speed research programme with a modified UH-2. The first stage involved fitting a podded General Electric YJ85 turbojet engine on the starboard side of the cabin. Speeds of up to 216 mph (348 kmh) were attained with this jet augmentation, without impairing the aircraft's normal lack of vibration. A further contract, announced June 1964, involved adding wings to the aircraft for further tests during the last months of 1964. At the time of writing, the US Army was considering the addition of a second jet pod to investigate fully the speed potential of this compound version.

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