CP-01 (CP = CopterPlane)
Yongin-si, Gyunggi-do, South Korea www.plana.aero
Plana was founded in July 2021 by Braden J. Kim, Ph.D. CEO, Minyoung Ahn CSO/COO and Jinmo Lee Ph.D CPO in South Korea. Plana was established to lead in the creation of new and innovative short to medium-range clean hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) passenger aircraft and its ecosystem. In 2022, Plana has applied for four design registrations with the Korean Intellectual Property Office with pending applications for various parts of the aircraft. The company is actively hiring people.
Plana has reported it has raised, in a pre-series A investment round, some 11.8 billion Korean won KRW, approximately $8.3 million USD and this brings the company's total investment to date as of October 2022, close to $10 million USD. The companies which participated in the pre-series A fundraising round, in alphabetical order, include DSC Investment, Dt& Investment, FuturePlay, Industrial Bank of Korea, Kibo Technology Fund, Schmidt, Shinhan Asset Management and Xenoholdings Asia. The company forecasts it will need $1 billion USD to begin serial production and plans for a Series A funding round 2023 and a Series B round in 2025.
To achieve their goal of serial production for advanced air mobility passenger aircraft the company has already recruited around 30 global talents from France, Turkey, India, Japan and Australia as of early 2022. The company is continuing to expand their work force. The company is is focusing on power train technology with the top priority for their aircraft is safety.
Plana's CP-01 hybrid-electric VTOL short to medium range passenger aircraft
Plana's CP-01 (CP = CopterPlane) is a futuristic designed hybrid-electric VTOL short to medium-range passenger aircraft. The aircraft is flown by one pilot and can be configured for four passengers, six passengers or the seats can be removed for air cargo service. carries up to six passengers with their luggage. There is a solid bulkhead between the pilot's seat and the cabin area. For passenger flight service, each traveler has bucket seating, flight status information, individual lighting and air conditioning, ambient lighting, a private partition for each headrest, a mini-refrigerator, mini-tables, cell phone charging, cup holders, storage under each seat and ample space for luggage. The aircraft also has wide doors for ease of entry and exiting. The aircraft has a sleek design with canard wings and has panoramic wrap around windows allowing forward, left and right visibility for spectacular views for the passengers with a solid roof above cabin.
The estimated cruise speed for the aircraft is 300 km/h (186 mph), has a maximum speed of 350 km/h (217 mph) and has a range of 563 km (350 m). The aircraft has six tilt-propellers which are used for both VTOL, forward, rearward and all modes of flight. At the end of each wing are tilt-propellers and the rear wing has two addition tilt-propeller which are located in the back of wing, closer to the fuselage. The tilt-propellers at the end of the wings tilt upward for VTOL flight and are traction propellers for forward flight. The two rearward facing tilt-propellers tilt downward for VTOL flight and are pusher propellers for forward flight. The power source of the aircraft can also the aircraft can also use SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) to further reduce its carbon footprint. The tail of the aircraft has one vertical stabilizer and has tricycle retractable wheeled landing gear.
The company states their hybrid-electric power train will have 80% fewer emissions when compared to conventional helicopters. The power source of the aircraft can also the aircraft can also use SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) to further reduce its carbon footprint.
Plana receives iF Design Award for its CP-01 aircraft design
On April 17th, 2023, the company announced it had won the Professional Concept category of the esteemed iF Design Awards. The iF Design Awards are considered one of the top three design awards offered globally.
Korean Urban Air Mobility (K-UAM) Grand Challenge
The company expects to have a half-scale demonstrator aircraft completed in 2023 and flight tested in 2024. A full scale passenger prototype is expected to be developed in 2025. Plana’s half-scale demonstrator will be part of the Korean Urban Air Mobility (K-UAM) Grand Challenge Demonstration Project. Demonstration flights for the Grand Challenge are planned to take place from August 2023 to March 2024 and Plana plans to be heavily involved in this endeavor. According to one report on February 23, 2023, 46 companies are participating in the Challenge. The K-UAM Grand Challenge is a key part of the South Korean government’s plan to develop an urban air mobility roadmap to support initial commercial eVTOL passenger and air cargo operations starting in 2025.
Letter of intent and provisional sales agreement
It was reported in 2023, that Ghenus Air (with planned service for Seoul, South Korea and Los Angeles, California, USA) has signed a letter of intent for 20 aircraft and has a provisional sales agreement with the airline Jeju Air based in South Korea.
Plana opened offices in Irvine (Southern California, USA) and San Jose (Northern California, USA) to help the application process of having their aircraft become certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The company plans to build and fly it's full-scale prototype in 2025 and when this is accomplished, it will announce the official name of its production aircraft. The company expects its aircraft will be FAA certified in 2028.
Production aircraft timeline
The production aircraft is expected to be in serial production and in passenger air taxi service in 2028. The company's long term vision is to have over 200,000 of its aircraft produced by 2040.
Aircraft type: Medium range hybrid-electric VTOL passenger aircraft
Piloting: 1 pilot
Capacity: 6 passengers with room for luggage
Cruise speed: 300 km/h (186 mph)
Maximum speed: 350 km/h (217 mph)
Range: 563 km (350 m)
Propellers: 6 tilt-propellers
Electric motors: 6 electric motors
Power source: Hybrid-electric power source
Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
Windows: Panoramic wrap around windows allowing forward, left and right visibility for spectacular views with a solid roof above the passenger compartment
Wings: Canard wings (1 rear high main wing, 1 front smaller lower wing)
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 in the sub-systems of the aircraft. In an emergency, the aircraft can land like a conventional airplane.
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