Korean Air, Boeing to collaborate on UAV project

Korean Air has teamed up with the global aerospace company Boeing for the development of unmanned helicopters.

The two companies exchanged a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on technical cooperation for remodeling 500MD helicopters into unmanned aircraft at the Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (ADEX) held at Kintex in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province, on Oct. 30.

Choi June-Chul, Senior Vice President of Korean Air for Aerospace Business, Jeff Kohler, Vice President of International Business Development for Boeing Defense, Space & Security, and other related people attended the signing ceremony.

Through the agreement with Boeing, Korean Air will secure the technology to convert the 500MDs of the Korean Army, including the technology for design, remodeling and test-flights. Korean Air manufactured and supplied the 500MD helicopters to the Korean Army from 1976 to 1988, and also sold 250 units overseas.

Korean Air has led the development and manufacturing of unmanned aircraft, including vertical takeoff and landing UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), division-level reconnaissance UAVs, medium-altitude UAVs and UCAVs (unmanned combat air vehicles).

Korean Air said the company has accumulated considerable technology through the production of 500MDs and UAVs. Its partnership with Boeing, which possesses expertise on unmanned helicopters, will help the company secure the technology to convert helicopters into unmanned aerial vehicles for the first time in Korea. The technology will also allow Korean Air to expand business in domestic and overseas markets.

During the ADEX, Korean Air also signed an agreement with Boeing for supply of winglets for Boeing’s next generation carrier, the B737-MAX. The company will produce winglets for a total of 1,200 B737-MAX units from 2015 to 2022.
Korean Air has manufactured parts of commercial aircraft since 1986, when it first produced wing parts for the B747. It has manufactured and delivered wings and fuselage structures for the B717, B737, B767, B777, B787 and B747-8 aircraft. More recently, as a joint development partner for the B787 Dreamliners, it is participating in the design/development and production of wing and fuselage structures.

Korean Air has been recognized by Boeing on multiple occasions as a Supplier of the Year.


Source / Author: Korean Air

Photo: Korean Air