70 Years
of Innovation
Scroll Down

In 1945, Charles Kaman, a self-described “headstrong twenty-six year old,” founded Kaman Aircraft Corporation in the garage of his mother’s West Hartford, Connecticut home. His goal: demonstrate a new rotor concept he devised to make helicopters more stable and easier to fly. Within two years the K-125 helicopter was in the air.

Seventy years later, our founder’s spirit of invention and determination continue to inspire everyone at Kaman. Pushing beyond the expected to create and deliver something new and better for our customers is a driving force behind our continued momentum.



Kaman Specialty Bearings continues to build on the breakthrough innovations of earlier generations. Through six decades, our consistently reliable products have provided longer life and lower maintenance costs, even in areas of high moisture, fluid/debris contamination and elevated temperatures. In 2014, we opened a new facility in Höchstadt, Germany, which doubled bearing manufacturing capacity in Europe and provides a state-of-the-art platform for creating a new generation of innovations in bearings and engineered products.



The spirit of innovation that led to the first unmanned helicopter flight lives on in the engineers of Kaman Aerospace. This is why aviation leaders and governments continue to work with us. Most recently, we demonstrated to the U.S. Forest Service of the Department of the Interior how the unmanned K-MAX® can be used to fight forest fires, with the potential to reduce loss of life to both pilots and firefighters.



The pursuit of operational excellence continues to drive everyone at Kaman Aerospace, leading to deeper relationships with the world’s top aerospace companies. Our early work for Boeing on the fixed trailing edge has led to a new contract with Boeing on its 767-based KC-46A U.S. Air Force tanker. Our contract with Boeing for the manufacture and assembly of two major sections of the 747-8 wing-to-body fairing, part of a long-standing and expanding relationship with Boeing, is ahead of schedule and under budget.



Outstanding talent has been instrumental in the growth of Kaman. Two leaders, one a Kaman veteran, the other new to the company, exemplify this. Rob Paterson, President of Kamatics, joined Kaman in 1980 as a second generation employee. Rob has led his division to global leadership and is a superb ambassador for the spirit of innovation and partnership that have characterized Kaman since our founding.

In 2014, Tribby Warfield was named Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Fluid Power platform of our Distribution segment. Tribby joined Kaman from Gates Corporation, where she most recently served as President, North American Commercial.

a Complete


Kaman Distribution is one of North America’s largest industrial distributors, focusing on three robust platforms: Bearings and Power Transmission; Fluid Power; and Automation, Control, and Energy. Together, these platforms address a $35 billion market.

Kaman brings added value to customers by offering single-source responsibility and accountability for a comprehensive portfolio of product lines. With a reputation for leadership and technical expertise, Kaman offers solutions that go beyond the role of a traditional product provider to deliver a reduction in the total cost of doing business.

Superb Customer Service


The global consumer products company, with sales in excess of $80 billion, is Kaman Distribution’s largest customer, encompassing more than 30 facilities. A Kaman customer service center in Louisville receives orders electronically. The Louisville center processes orders and coordinates with all Kaman account managers, who provide customer service to fulfill the needs of each customer location. This deepening relationship reflects a commitment to outstanding service and innovation that began in the earliest days of Kaman Distribution. With more than 100 National Account relationships, Kaman is a value-added partner to many of North America’s largest and most demanding companies.



Kaman Distribution’s commitment to continuous improvement has reduced the footprint of distribution centers and lowered staffing levels. Equally as important, increased quality is evidenced by an accuracy rate of 99.982%. Innovations continue to make Distribution a lean, nimble competitor, including random storage, wireless bar coding, optimized floor space techniques and cutting-edge supply chain strategies.

As we commemorate 70 years of innovation, leadership and dedicated customer service, our focus will never stray from what is most important: