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KARI OPPAV (concept design)

OPPAV passenger eVTOL concept design aircraft

 

OPPAV (concept design)
Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI)
Daejeon, Taejon-jikhalsi, South Korea
www.kari.re.kr

The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) established in 1989, is a government-funded research institute in the aerospace industry and is located in Daejeon, Taejon-jikhalsi, South Korea. Its main office and laboratories are located in Daejeon and the flight test center is located in Goheung. The company manufacturers space launch vehicles, a lunar mission orbitor, satellites, airplances, helicopters, electric-powered helicopters, air ships, UAVs, launch control centers, launch sites,  testing runways, unmanned aerial vehicle traffice mangement systems, Korean Positioning System and more. (Image credit: Korea Aerospace Research Institute)

Since 2002, KARI has developed various types of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), such as the KARI tiltrotors — the TR100 with a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) and the TR60 at 200 kg (440 lb), a ducted propeller design with a MTOW of 40 kg (88 lb), and a quad-tilt prop (QTP) UAS. The QTP UAV, with a MTOW of 48 kg (106 lb) and a Vmax of 170 km/h (106 mph) is fully electric, with a hybrid variant as well. The model numbers for the QTP UAV were reported in a PDF brochure by KARI as the LC62-50B (an all battery power source) and the LC62-50H (a hybrid-electric power source). A video of the QTP UAV can be seen in this YouTube video.

KARI QTP UAV transition in flight. There are two model numbers for this prototype aircraft. The first is the LC62-50B (B is for an all battery power source) and the LC62-50H model (H stands for a hybrid-electric power source).

KARI QTP UAV transition in flight. There are two model numbers for this prototype aircraft. The first is the LC62-50B (B is for an all battery power source) and the LC62-50H model (H stands for a hybrid-electric power source).

In 2019, the eVTOL technology demonstrator program was launched and funded by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE). KARI leads the research and development program to develop a one-seat class electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) technology demonstrator prototype aircraft for advanced air mobility (AAM). The two ministries will spend a total of $44.8 billion KRW ($38 million USD) (January 2020 prices) to develop the aircraft by the end of 2023.

OPPAV passenger eVTOL concept design aircraft
An early OPPAV passenger eVTOL concept design aircraft was set to be piloted or have autonomous piloting and the aircraft held one passenger. However, KARI noted the aircraft can be scalable and can hold four to five passengers. The OPPAV concept design was displayed at the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) XPONENTIAL 2018 trade show. The picture below was taken on May 2, 2018 by Aviation Week editor, Graham Warwick.

The cruise speed of the aircraft was estimated to be 200 km/h (124 mph) with a predicted range of 50 km (31 m). The maximum takeoff weight is anticipated at 500 kg (1,102 lb). The aircraft has canard wings with held eight tilt-propellers. Two tilt-propellers at at the ends of the front canard wing. Four propellers are located on the high wing which tilt in conjunction with a portion of the high wing. The remaining tilt propellers are located at the very ends of the V tail. The aircraft uses eight electric motors to power the propellers. The aircraft is powered by Lithium-ion battery packs.

The fuselage is made from carbon fiber composite for a high strength low weight ratio. The length of the fuselage is 430 cm (14.1 ft). The aircraft has large panoramic wrap around windows allowing forward, left, right and top visibility for spectacular views for the pilot and passengers. The aircraft has fixed skid landing gear.

Trade show display model of the OPPAV concept design aircraft. Picture credit: Graham Warwick, May 2, 2018.

Trade show display model of the OPPAV concept design aircraft. Picture credit: Graham Warwick, May 2, 2018.

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: Passenger eVTOL scalable concept design aircraft
  • Piloting: Pilot, remote or autonomous piloting
  • Capacity: 4-5 passengers
  • Cruise speed: 200 km/h (124 mph)
  • Range: 50 km (31 m)
  • Maximum takeoff weight: 500 kg (1,102 lb)
  • Propellers: 8 tilt-propellers (4 propellers are tilt-propellers and 4 propellers tilt with a tilting wing)
  • Electric motors: 8 electric motors
  • Power source: Lithium-ion battery packs
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Length: 430 cm (14.1 ft)
  • Windows: Panoramic wrap around windows allowing forward, left, right and top visibility for spectacular views
  • Wings: Canard wings
  • Tail: V tail
  • Landing gear: Fixed skid landing gear
  • Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft. There are also redundancies of critical components in the sub-systems of the aircraft.

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