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Hanwha Systems is Opening up the Future of Korea’s Urban Air Mobility

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2020-06-24
Hanwha Systems is Opening up the Future of Korea’s Urban Air Mobility 
 
 
□ HSC joins “UAM Team Korea,” a MOLIT-led panel to promote Korea’s urban air mobility as the industry representative.
□ First Korean company to advance into UAM market in 2019, collaborating with Overair to develop Butterfly, Overair’s PAV project.    
□ Envisioning itself as a future “Global UAM Solution Provider”, HSC plans to start PVA trial service by 2026 and its actual commercialization service by 2029, which will help cultivate UAM industry ecosystem.  


CEO Youn Chul Kim of Hanwha Systems Co., Ltd.(HSC), attended the starting ceremony of UAM Team Korea, a MOLIT-led industry, academia and government consultative body organized to promote urban air mobility in Korea, after HSC had been selected as the industry representative for the organization.   
 
Back in July 2019, HSC became the first Korean company to enter into UAM market. As it joins UAM Team Korea now, HSC will identify new projects required for developing K-UAM roadmap and facilitate collaborations among the members of the team, leading the development of Korea’s urban air mobility industry.
 
HSC has already invested approximately 30 billion Korea won in Overair, a leading PAV(Personal Air Vehicle) startup, and HSC’s core team of engineers have been dispatched to the US to actively participate in the development of Butterfly” airframe throughout the whole R&D processes.
 
“Butterfly” is an electric-powered VTOL(Vertical Take Off and Landing) type  aircraft to which HSC’s avionics technology in sensor, radar and communications fields as well as Overair’s patented “energy saving flying technology” will be applied. Butterfly is a highly reliable and safe system.
 
“Butterfly” is currently able to fly from Seoul to Incheon in about 20 minutes at the maximum speed of 320 km/h. It can continuously operate by means of high speed charging. In terms of the user fares, K-UAM roadmap forecasts that there won’t be much price difference compared with premium taxi fares, which means Butterfly’s user fares will have sufficient price competitiveness.
 
In addition, as its noise level was designed to be lower than that of helicopters by more than 15 dB, it allows for air taxi to travel far quieter and in eco-friendly way. Butterfly is expected to provide the most optimized airframe for urban air mobility service. 
 
With its vision statement of becoming “Global UAM Solution Provider,” HSC is planning to expand its business scopes in phases from airframe development to ground infrastructure and flight service operations. Accordingly, HSC’s current schedule for UAM commercialization is to start trial UAM fight services for the general public in 2026 and then gradually enlarge its service areas until 2029. 
 
Meanwhile, HSC is also participating in KARI(Korea Aerospace Research Institute)-led OPPAV(Optionally Piloted Personal Air Vehicle) Project to develop Flight Control Computer, one of OPPAV’s critical devices required for ensuring flight safety. 
 
Mr. Youn Chul Kim, CEO of HSC, said that, “We will make our best efforts to help cultivate Korea’s UAM industry ecosystem by fully leveraging HSC’s experiences and technology that we secured from our previous UAM business and R&D efforts.” He also maintained that, “we will further expand the cooperation ties with leading domestic and foreign companies and explore all-round business opportunities, so that HSC can become a “Global UAM Solution Provider”in the future.
 
* PAV: Personal Air Vehicle
 
* Overair: a spin-off from Karem Aircraft, one of key partners for “Uber Elevate”, a commercialization of Uber Air Taxi Project led by Uber.  
 
  • Karem Aircraft: A airframe designer company specialized in Vertical Take Off and Landing(VTOL) aircraft. Holds multiple patents and licenses required for building high efficiency and low noise PAVs.
     
    Abe Karem, the founder of Karem Aircraft and confounder of Overair, is a world-renowned aerospace designer who designed 14 aircrafts including the Predator, an unmanned reconnaissance and attacker. He is serving a key role in Overair.
 
Tilt-roter: An aircraft which generates lift and propulsion by way of rotating engines and propellers mounted at the ends of main wing(the largest wing crossing the fuselage side by side), so as to enable vertical lifting and high speed forward flying.
 
*e-VTOL: electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing