Wednesday, December 19, 2007

[ News, Science / Tech, November 29 2007] Korea successfully conducts test of unmanned tilt-rotor aircraft

Korea successfully tested an unmanned tilt-rotor aircraft that will help the country become a leader of technology in this field, a state-run aerospace institute said Thursday (Nov. 29).

The test carried out in Goheung, South Jeolla Province, is part of a 101.1-billion-won ($108.4 million) project that will run through March 2012, the Korea Aerospace Research Institute said (KARI).

The 2-meter-long unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a wing span of 2.8 meters is a scaled-down version of an aircraft that is to built in mid-2009. The future airframe is expected to weigh one ton, with a 5-meter-long fuselage and a 4-meter-long wingspan.

Under the plan, the aircraft will be able to stay airborne for at least five hours.

"Besides being approximately 40 percent the size of the full-scale UAV, the test airframe is identical to the planned vehicle in most respects," said Koo Sam-ok, the chief systems evaluator for the project. This similarity, the expert added, will allow essential tests including ones on flight control systems, ground avoidance software and automatic piloting technology.

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