November 30, 2011
South Korea develops world’s fastest and worlds first remote-controlled UAV capable of taking off and landing vertically
South Korea on Wednesday unveiled its latest unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is the worlds fastest and also the world’s first remote-controlled aircraft capable of taking off and landing vertically. The aircraft has tilt rotors, meaning its rotary wings tilt, giving it a helicopter-like capability to vertically take off and land when its wings are facing upward, and the speed and operation range of a jet when its wings are tilted forward, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy. There is only one other aircraft with tilt-rotors in the world, which is the V-22 Osprey used by the U.S. Marine Corp.
The aircraft is also the world’s fastest UAV with a cruise speed of 400 kilometers per hour, while the world’s best-known UAV, the U.S. Air Force’s Predator, is said to have a cruise speed of about 135 kilometers per hour, and a maximum speed of about 217 kilometers per hour.
The developers are now working to downsize the aircraft to about 60 percent of its original form, which currently stands at 5 meters in length and 7 meters in width and weighs 1 ton. The price of the aircraft has yet to be set, mainly because the developers are not yet sure of their initial production volume. Mass production could begin in less than three years after the development of the aircraft is completed in March.