KAI made an announcement on Dec. 5 that it has successfully completed the initial flight test of a small-sized light civil helicopter (LCH) in Korea at its headquarters in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province.
After takeoff, the LCH demonstrated flight safety by operating for about 20 minutes, including flight in place, forward flight, S-shaped turn flight and circle center turn flight.
KAI started developing LCH in June 2015. Based on H155B1, it is currently developing it by applying its latest technologies to main gear boxes, cockpit, and canopy.
The first of the two trial products manufactured through the LCH development project was manufactured in France under the auspices of AH to obtain the certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and the goal is to complete the initial flight in July last year and obtain certification in September next year.
The second trial product, which succeeded in the initial flight, is the first private helicopter made at a domestic production line built in time for the EASA's certification process.
It is planning to equip 80 types of components developed in South Korea such as landing gear, AFCS, and AVCS to prove their suitability and obtain certifications from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in 2021.
When the development of the LCH is completed, it will secure a compact (4.9 tons) civil helicopter platform, along with the medium to large scale (8.7 tons) Surion.
Based on certifications from EASA and the ministry, it is predicted that it will be possible to enter domestic and foreign helicopter markets.
KAI plans to build a sales base for LCH through a joint marketing campaign with AH to promote sales not only at home but also abroad, thus increasing the competitiveness of domestic helicopters.