AAM in Korea
The Seoul Metropolitan Government co-hosted an event with the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) on Nov. 11 to highlight AAM in Korea. Guangzhou, China-based EHang brought six examples of its two-seat EH216 autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) and conducted unmanned flights of the 1,435-lb (650-kg) eVTOL, according to Yonhap News Agency. In addition, Korean industrial giants Hyundai and Hanwha displayed one-third-scale models of their vectored-thrust eVTOL designs. Hanwha displayed its Butterfly, which is being developed with US-based Overair (a spinoff of Karem Aircraft) and announced that it sought to establish a “verti-hub” at Seoul’s Gimpo International Airport, according to The Korea Herald.
EHang announced on Nov. 24 that it had completed its maiden flight testing in three South Korean locations. In Seoul, an EHang 216 took off from Yeouido Island in downtown to have an autonomous flight over a densely populated area. The second flight was done in Suseong District, Daegu City, to deliver a package containing a fire emergency kit and automated external defibrillator (AED) materials. The last flight was done on Jeju Island, flying over the coastline to demonstrate the real use case of aerial sightseeing. The company said this flight tour signifies the starting point to explore the AAM market in Korea. The three locations were all selected as pilot sites of the “Korean Urban Air Mobility (K-UAM) Roadmap” announced by MOLIT in June 2020, with the aim to commercialize AAM services by 2023–2025.