The delivery of this Light Civil Helicopter (LCH) is the first by Airbus Helicopters and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to Gloria Aviation, following certification in September 2022. The LCH will enter service in December 2022 in an emergency medical services (EMS) configuration, ready for deployment to life-saving missions in Jeju.
Airbus and KAI have collaborated on two initiatives: LCH and Light Armed Helicopter (LAH) development programs. The delivery of this LCH is a key milestone in these projects, which commenced in 2015.
Prototype flights of the LCH were completed at the end of 2019. The helicopter will not just be capable of EMS, but could also be deployed for public service missions such as search and rescue, utility, law enforcement and firefighting.
The LAH prototype completed its maiden flight in July 2019 and will be qualified within the next few weeks. Airbus and KAI will jointly enter the process of serial production of the helicopter for the Republic of Korea Army by the end of this year.
“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,” Even added.
After the completion of the LAH development, Airbus and KAI will continue to work together. Programmes will combine Airbus’ technical expertise in the field of helicopter drive systems and flight control systems, with KAI’s established local industrialisation knowledge.