S.Korea unveils first home-built passenger plane
Sunday 24 July 2011
South Korea on Wednesday unveiled its first home-built private aircraft as part of its efforts to develop commercial planes.
The four-seater, single-engine propeller plane made the country the world's 28th nation to build and fly an indigenous non-military aircraft, according to the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs.
South Korea introduced its first indigenous military plane, the T-50, in 2005. The T-50 is a supersonic trainer and multi-role fighter.
The new plane, named the Naraon, which made its debut at Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) in the southern city of Sacheon, is made of a light, carbon-based composite material and has devices controlling fuel injection.
KIA claims the Naraon is 10 percent more fuel efficient than its rivals.
With a top speed of 389 kilometers (243 miles) per hour and maximum flight distance of 1,850 kilometres, the aircraft can reach most major cities in Japan, China and some Southeast Asian countries without refuelling.
With a tag price of about 600 million won ($568,000), the plane can be used for pilot training, leisure and various other purposes including personal use.
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