KAI, January 23, 2015 - Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) announced its Utility Helicopter for Korean Marines Corps has completed a first test flight successfully on January 19 in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province.
The first flight test with 2 test flight pilots and 2 technicians onboard took wing for about 30 minutes. Test items included ground tests, including forward flight, backward flight and a change of direction as well as hovering flight and a change of direction after a rise up to the 80-feet above the ground. All the tests were completed successfully.
The Korea Utility Helicopter, an amphibious copter is a derivative of the Korea's first airmobile Surion helicopter and was manufactured to fit into the warship/marine environment by applying the marine mission equipment and shipboard operations technologies with its fuselage opti¬mized.
The KUH (aka Surion) is equipped with a Tactical Air Navigation (TACAN), high frequency radios, emergency floats which enable the pilots to protect their escape time and the fuselage upon emergency landing at sea, and an auxiliary fuel tank for a long-haul ocean flight. KAI improved the retractable method of the main rotor to ban the body of the KUH from being cor¬roded and to make the shipboard operations easier.
Setting out for its full-fledged development on July, 2013, KAI plans to verify the new equipment and flight performance of the KUH in diverse environments, including cold weather test and shipboard operation test as it finished the helicopter's shakedown flight, scheduled for comple¬tion of development at end of 2015.
The Korean Marine Corps expects that the development of the KUH could enhance the ability of its independent landing operations and stepping forward, improve an operational radius and mobility of the Marine Corps.
Starting from the Surion-based helicopter for the Korean Police Agency in 2012, KAI developed various copters, like the KUH and the MEDEVAC, and validated the flight performance and expandability of the derivative helicopters. The company is scheduled to develop a helicopter for the purposes of the Korean military and the government and pins high hopes on foraying into overseas export markets as well.
As the development of the various Surion-based helicopters draws keen attention of the South¬east East, Middle East and Central & South American nations, we are doing a brisk marketing activity," said an official at KAI." 'KAI anticipates that the first export of the Surion helicopter will be made at an earlier date than expected."