Friday, March 12, 2010

South Korea's Surion Utility Helicopter Makes Maiden Flight

The first prototype of the Surion utility helicopter, co-developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Eurocopter, successfully completed its first flight March 10, about seven months after its rollout, South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced.The 30-minute flight took place at an air base in Sacheon, some 430 kilometers (about 265 miles) southeast of Seoul.Two test pilots and an engineer maneuvered the 8.7-metric-ton aircraft through taxi, hover and hover turns. "A full-scale flight test will begin in May before initial production in late 2010."Under the Korea Utility Helicopter (KUH) program that began in 2006, South Korea plans to produce 245 troop-carrying helicopters to replace aging UH-1H and MD 500 helicopters. Surion has a top speed of 240 kilometers per hour and can carry two pilots and 11 troops..........................................Defensenews

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