July 29, 2010
Korean manufacturer KAI aims to make the KC-100 South Korea's first FAA-certified aircraft, and offer it as direct competition to top-end Cirrus and Cessna Corvalis turbocharged piston models, by 2013. What the KC-100 brings to the party is nearly full carbon-fiber construction, a cabin that adds one or two inches in width over Cirrus and Corvalis designs, an Avidyne Entegra II panel, plus standard TKS ice protection, air conditioning and oxygen. As that package suggests, the KC-100 intends to provide for a good life in the fast lane at high altitude. Powered by a FADEC-controlled TCM TSIOF-550-K turbocharged engine, KAI plans to deliver cruise speeds of about 190 knots, a maximum range of 1,200 nautical miles, and a useful load of at least 1,100 pounds. The manufacturer did not bring a prototype to AirVenture (it's due for completion in early 2011), but they did have a presence, and expect a first flight by late summer next year.
The KC-100's current design includes twin gull-wing doors and outer-span wing cuffs along with cowl and windscreen lines that invoke thoughts of a Cirrus. However, the company maintains that the aircraft's planform is still subject to change as modifications are made to best meet target specifications. Pricing hasn't been set but the company is currently hoping to come in near $600,000, with a full-plane parachute offered as an option. As prototyping progresses, KAI has begun seeking partners to act as support centers in the U.S.