See A Synchropter In Action

While I can't tell you yet about the 1,000 Chryslers I'm driving today in San Diego, I can show you this rare K-1200 K-Max synchropter, a helicopter with two rotors on separate angled masts. What's it doing here?

Hauling concrete. The mountains south of San Diego have become a hotbed of power line construction, yet many of the areas where towers for the 1,000-megawatt transmission line will be built are environmentally fragile, and residents oppose tearing massive roads for construction vehicles into the mountainsides. The carefully synchronized rotors — and it's lack of a tail rotor — make the K-Max extremely stable when hovering, perfect for repeated vertical lifting and hauling of up to 6,000 pounds.


Kaman Corp. has built roughly 40 K-Max synchropters so far, and licensed the design for an unmanned drone version. Maybe now if you see one in action while driving, you won't nearly trigger a rear-end collision.

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