By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
The KAI KC-100, a four-seat general aviation aircraft that is the first of its kind to be designed and built in South Korea, is now in flight testing, the company announced recently. The airplane, called the Naraon, aims to be 10 percent more fuel-efficient than others in its class, with a top speed of about 210 knots and a range of about 1,000 nm, which is enough to reach most major cities in Japan and China from South Korea. It's expected to be FAA certified and will sell for about $575,000. The first flight took place on July 20, the company said. The airplane is expected to be available in the market in mid-2013.
The Naraon is powered by a FADEC-controlled TCM TSIOF-550-K turbocharged engine. It's constructed of carbon fiber, with a cabin that's an inch or two wider than Cirrus and Corvalis designs, with gull-wing doors for entry. It is expected to be finished with an Avidyne Entegra II panel, standard TKS ice protection, air conditioning and oxygen. A full-plane parachute is expected to be offered as an option.