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First Airbus/Korean Light Civil Helicopter Delivered

Joint Airbus/Korean Aerospace Development Program Bears Fruit 

Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first Light Civil Helicopter to its first customer, Gloria Aviation. 

The helicopter (LCH), is the result of a joint effort between Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Airbus Helicopters that began as a follow-on to their Light Armed Helicopter (LAH) development program from 2015. The Civil Helicopter completed its first prototype flight testing in late 2019, not long after its Armed sibling did the same in July of the same year. Since embarking on the program, Airbus has delivered more than 250 kits to KAI, allowing the 5-ton class helicopter to meet Korean legal requirements for domestically produced civil and military aircraft. Now, with the program reaching fruition, the firms eye fresh work together. The LAH and LCH are built on the Airbus Dauphin family of aircraft, providing a strong base of knowledge and fleet support garnered from more than 1,000 aircraft in service since its release. 

Both Airbus and KAI have been so pleased with their progress on the Light Helicopter programs that they have begun preparing another joint development program along the same lines. Once again, Airbus will provide its considerable technical know-how, specifically in rotorcraft drive systems and flight controls, while KAI will account for the required industrialization for serial production. The new program, which will result in a yet-unspecified product for the Republic of Korea Army, will begin by the start of 2023. 

“KAI has been a long-time partner to Airbus on several strategic helicopter development programmes. We are happy to celebrate this first LCH delivery which will, with the upcoming LAH qualification, kick-start a new chapter for our partnership as we enter the serial production phase,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. 

“We are also pleased to take our partnership a step further to prepare for the development of new variants that do not just meet the operational requirements of the end-user, but one that would bring tremendous technical and economic benefits to the local aerospace industry for years to come.”

FMI: www.airbus.com

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