How We May Get Korean-Made GA Aircraft

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The KC-100, a four-place "240 KTAS" (maximum, not cruise speed) aircraft being developed in Korea and seeking FAA certification, may be the first complete aircraft to benefit from a pact initiated in early 2008 by South Korea and the U.S. The side-stick controlled KC-100 is powered by a 315-hp, turbo-FADEC Continental, targets a range of more than 1,300 nm, and is due to complete development in June of 2013. A first flight is expected this year. The Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) is a contract between South Korea and the U.S. that covers comprehensive cooperation in aviation safety, and will allow South Korean aviation manufacturers -- that pass FAA inspections -- to freely export aviation goods that meet FAA technical standards. Airworthiness inspections of the KC-100, South Korea's first commercial aircraft, from Korea's only aircraft developer, began in 2009, according to The Korea Times. Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd (KAI) has already produced a supersonic jet trainer. The KC-100 may just be Korea's first complete design ready for commercial FAA-approved export ... with more to come.

BASA lays the foundation for possible future agreements in such areas as the oversight of aviation maintenance facilities, crew members, flight training establishments, and overall aircraft operations. As for KAI's effort, Hartzell has already announced it will be working with KAI in equipping the KC-100's TSIOF-550 Continental with Hartzell's ASC-II advanced composite, three-blade propeller and S-Series governor. Hartzell is aiming for FAA, Korean and EASA certification, which it intends to have in place in time for first delivery of the KC-100. KAI plans to involve four KC-100 prototypes in airworthiness certification.