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ADEX 2023: KAL-ASD unveils new Future Vertical Lift concept

KAL-ASD's FVL model concept demonstrated vertical take-off and landing and cruise-mode configuration during ADEX 2023. (Janes/Akhil Kadidal)

The US Army's selection of the Bell V-280 ‘Valor' tiltrotor aircraft has prompted Korean Air Aerospace Division (KAL-ASD) to revisit its domestically developed tiltrotor aircraft programme.

During the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (ADEX) 2023 held from 17 to 22 October, KAL-ASD unveiled its new Future Vertical Lift (FVL) concept for the first time.

“This is a future long-range assault aircraft. It is intended to offer a similar capability as the Bell V-280 ‘Valor',” a KAL-ASD project official told Janes on 19 October.

The planned specifications for the new vertical take-off and landing-capable (VTOL-capable) aircraft include a crew complement of 14 (two pilots and 12 troops), a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 14,000 kg, a maximum speed of over 300 kt, and a range of 1,000 km. “The planned powerplant is a gas turboprop engine,” the official said.

KAL-ASD originally started work on a tiltrotor concept in 2014. “We did this because we had the core technologies for such a project. An unmanned tiltrotor aircraft was created, which was designated as the KUS-VT. However, this testbed was significantly smaller than the aircraft we now want to develop,” the official told Janes.

Initial specifications for the FVL were unavailable at the time of publication. “The concept is still at an early stage,” the company official said. The concept model on display at ADEX 2023 showed a frontal nose structure similar to the Sikorsky S-70 with a tapering empennage leading a twin-tail layout.

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