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Aviation Center

Leading the Future Aviation Industry with Core Next-Generation Technologies

Aviation

Development of cutting-edge aircraft for the advancement of the aviation industry

The aviation industry is technology-led and technology-competitive based on technology integration and industry applying cutting-edge technologies such as computers, precision machinery, communications electronics, and new materials, wielding a large ripple effect on other industries. KARI focuses on improving the technology level and building the foundation for independent technology development to facilitate the development of the high-value-added aviation industry. KARI successfully developed the Bandi, a small four-seater aircraft with domestic technology and 18 core components for civil and military use as to be applied to the Korean Helicopter Program (KHP) for helicopter technology independence. That made Korea the 11th country in the world to develop helicopters. Related technologies were also derived for the development of military and civil helicopters. KARI signed the Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) with the United States to enter overseas markets for aviation technology and developed the small aircraft (KC-100) certified for international aviation safety.

Development of personal aircraft for eco-friendly, high-efficiency aviation technology and transportation innovation

The competition to develop eco-friendly, high-efficiency aviation technologies and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to enhance the economy, safety, and efficiency of aircraft has heated up recently. Although UAVs were initially developed for military use, their applications have recently expanded to private sectors such as science and technology, transportation, communication, logistics, rescue, aerial photography, and agriculture, and they are expected to lead the aviation industry’s growth and market in the future. According to aerospace and defense consulting company Teal group, the UAV market size is expected to grow to USD 12.5 billion by 2023, USD 880 million of which will be for civil use, to show a high annual average growth of 35%. Since UAV is the convergence system of aviation technology and IT, it is ideal for Korea. Currently considered to have the world’s top 7 UAV technical competitiveness, Korea aims to rank among the top 5 UAV industrial countries by 2023 and among the top 3 by 2027. KARI is developing a personal air vehicle (PAV) that will bring transportation innovation in the future through the convergence of advanced UAVs, aviation technology, and information and communication technology (ICT) that can penetrate the global UAV niche markets. Beginning with the Durumi, a small endurance UAV, KARI developed a medium-sized aerostat system and an LTA (Lighter Than Air) aircraft system with long endurance. It also developed the world's second smart UAV, a tiltrotor capable of both vertical takeoff/landing and high-speed flight. Since then, the institute has transferred the smart UAV technologies to industries, and it plans to develop various derivative technologies such as automatic shipboard takeoff/landing technology, tilt duct UAV, and quad tilt-prop (QTP) UAV to be used for the commercialization of tiltrotor UAV, future aircraft, and next-generation flight vehicles. KARI has also developed an electrical aerial vehicle (EAV), a solar-powered UAV that can stay in the stratosphere for a long time, and various types of disaster relief UAVs that can protect public safety and respond to disasters and accidents. Currently, KARI is developing future advanced core technologies for unmanned vehicles to identify innovative unmanned vehicles such as autonomous vehicles and autonomous ships and develop original technologies. Moreover, KARI is developing the core technologies for the optionally piloted personal air vehicle (OPPAV) that will bring new air traffic innovations, the unmanned aerial system traffic management (UTM) system for the safe and efficient flight of UAVs, and the small UAV certification technology to broaden the use of UAVs in the private sector. Its R&D program also includes the UAV collision avoidance system that automatically determines the risk of aerial collision and avoids it.

Aviation Center

Updates : 2021.06.25

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Korea’s first infrastructure specialized for aviation

The Goheung Aviation Test Center is the first facility in Korea to be used as a test outpost for national R&D aircraft and new-concept advanced aircraft system integration and ground and flight tests, parts performance tests, and space-related science observations. It is located in a reclamation site in Goheung Bay, Goheung-gun, Jeollanam-do. Goheung-gun and KARI signed an agreement for the construction of the aviation center (9.9 ha for the aviation center, 6.6 ha for a runway) at the land reclamation site in Goheung-gun, Jeollanam-do and invested 28.3 billion won as total project cost. Starting with the airship test building (72 m×32 m×25 m) to assemble, maintain, and store the 50 m-class airship system in connection with the mid-size airship development project underway at the time, research building (36 m×9 m×8 m), mooring (60 m ×60 m), and paved road 700 m long and 24 m wide will be built at the adjacent site to serve as a flight test runway. Later, in 2006, a small aircraft and a UAV test building was completed; in 2008, a drop test building and a test facility were built for the landing gear drop test. A whirl tower test facility was built in 2009 to test rotary-wing rotors, with security fences and security buildings completed near the center in 2010.

Used by 10,000 people from 20 agencies annually

In 2015, in accordance with the amendment of the Aviation Law at the time, the 700m temporary runway pavement site was officially approved as a light aircraft takeoff/landing site by the Busan Regional Aviation Administration of the MOLIT. The center has been commissioned to manage the site from Goheung-Gun, and it is carrying out various R&D tests jointly with the industry, academe, and research institutes. The Aviation Center features two medium- and small-sized test buildings for flight tests, a Crain for Tether (for the safety line test), a 700 m long and 24 m wide runway, and a testbed aircraft (2-seater manned aircraft) to support the development of aircraft parts and various kinds of manned and unmanned aircraft. Large test facilities include facilities for the whirl tower landing system drop test of the helicopter main rotor and tail rotor balancing test. The Aviation Center is used by more than 10,000 people from organizations each year. It carries out the drop test using large test systems, rotor balancing test, and functional/performance test by mounting the developed parts on the testbed aircraft. More than 70% use the center for flight tests. Additionally, the aviation center is used for various tests such as the National University Student Rocket Competition, CanSat Competition, and meteorological observation. KARI utilizes the center more than 70% of the time. Since 2015, flight tests using the testbed aircraft for performance verification of communications equipment, ADS-B, IMU, and weather measurement equipment developed by companies have been carried out.

National general flight performance test center

In July 2015, the government decided to construct the National Comprehensive Flight Performance Test Center, which is capable of conducting flight and certification tests for aircraft parts, navigation equipment, drones, and aircraft under development in a total area of 1.23 million square meters, including the Aviation Center. For the National Comprehensive Flight Performance Test Center, a runway capable of visual flight with length of 1200m and width of 45m and two taxiways are planned to be constructed by 2022. Phase 2 includes the construction of flight test equipment and facilities for one-stop services from the ground integrated test and flight test and national-level flight test and R&D facilities for the development of the domestic aviation industry. As the existing 700m long and 45m wide runway cannot fully meet the steadily increasing flight test requirements due to the change in aircraft development paradigm, the National Comprehensive Flight Performance Test Center began the construction of the national comprehensive flight performance test center 1200m long and 45m wide with the budget provided by MOTIE. At the end of 2018, it has completed various related permits for securing the site and starting the runway construction, currently showing a 45% process rate with the goal of completing the ICAO classification standard 3-C class runway in 2022. The National Comprehensive Flight Performance Test Center’s plan includes constructing the airfield and flight test facilities and equipment into two stages to facilitate aircraft development and certification tests. In Phase 1 from 2022 to 2024, it plans to install airfield lighting, meteorological equipment, radar, and fire engines and recruit personnel to operate and manage the airfield. In Phase 2 from 2025 to 2028, control facilities, instrument flight facilities, and flight test infrastructures such as navigation equipment, firefighting, refueling, and testbed aircraft will be installed to facilitate flight and certification tests of new-concept manned and unmanned vehicles, aviation equipment, and navigation safety facilities.
  • LocationYungdong-ri, Dodeok-myeon, Goheung-gun, Jeonnam
  • Completed2012
  • Area89,256 ㎡
  • Main facilities700 m runway, airship/small aircraft/UAV test building, drop test building, etc. 1200 m*45 m runway and induction way to be completed in 2022
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