Kawak Aviation was founded in 1993 as Ag-Air Systems in Bend, Oregon in the USA. That year, Ag-Air Systems founders Doug Sawyer and Mike Reightley, utilizing decades of experience in the fluid power industry created the first electro proportional auxiliary hydraulic power system for spray equipment on agricultural aircraft.
In 1994, Ag-Air developed turbine-engine conversions for radial-engine powered Thrush and Dromader aircraft models utilizing the TPE331 engine series. We continue to supply parts for these safe and high-performance aircraft modifications.
In 1996, we designed our ancillary hydraulic system for the Bell OH-58 / 206B helicopter. It was the first and to this day the only reliable variable hydraulic drive for these rotary wing aircraft capable of quadrupling productivity over standard electric systems.
A string of hydraulic helicopter power systems followed including the SA315B Lama, Bell 212/ 412 in both agriculture high flow and firefighting configurations, CH54B Sky Crane, B47, Hiller, Hughes 500, Bell UH-B, H, L, & K, Sikorsky S64E & F, Sikorsky S-61, Kaman K-1200, etc. Many of these required the design of high speed reduction gearboxes in order to draw power from the engine gearbox or rotor transmission.
In 2004 Ag-Air Systems acknowledged a changing market and an ever expanding set of capabilities and chose a new and unique name, Kawak Aviation Technologies.
Kawak (ka-wa’k) meaning “to fly” in Chinook Jargon. Chinook Jargon was originally constructed in the 1830’s from a variety of Amerind words of the Pacific Northwest and Oregon, arising as an intra-indigenous contact language in a region marked by divisive geography and intense linguistic diversity.
Also in 2004 Kawak introduced the High output hydraulic hover pump for helicopter firefighting. To this day the Kawak Hover Refill Pump remains the highest flowing refill pump available for medium helicopters by producing 2000GPM.
In 2005, Kawak was awarded an STC for a firefighting water tank on the Kaman K-1200 helicopter. Also in 2005, Kawak completed an STC for a system to scoop water in forward flight called the “Sea Snorkel” for a CH54B helicopter.
In 2007, Kawak developed and manufactured a custom 400hz electric motor driven hydraulic power unit used to open the main cargo door in a Boeing 757-200 aircraft which have been converted to haul cargo.
Kawak Aviation has had many development projects throughout our years in the aviation industry. A few of the largest in scale, were the motion control and propulsion systems for the Blue Devil ll Airship, a military unmanned vehicle for the Air Force, the redesign of a Boeing 757 cargo door’s hydraulics (for Precision Aircraft Solutions), and the Air Tractor GPS driven, hydraulic gate box controls for agricultural aviation spraying.
Today, while still actively involved in the agricultural aviation market, Kawak has expanded into a full-service aviation-engineering and manufacturing company with customers spanning from agriculture to unmanned aviation. Kawak continues to develop and integrate highly specialized aerospace engineering projects for the Military/Defense, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, and the Private sectors.