SEOUL -- Hanwha Aerospace, an aircraft parts maker affiliated with South Korea's Hanwha Group, tied up with Vertical Aerospace, a British electric aviation company, to develop a high-performance electro mechanical actuator for air taxis and flying vehicles for urban air mobility, an ecosystem covering personal air vehicles and infrastructure.
At the Farnborough International Airshow, a trade exhibition in England, Hanwha Aerospace said it has signed a joint cooperation agreement with Vertical Aerospace, to develop an electro mechanical actuator (EMA) for an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle.
An electromechanical actuator that converts electricity to mechanical force is a core component for personal air vehicles (PAVs). Vertical's eVTOL model, VX4, is claimed to be capable of traveling over 320 kilometers (200 miles) per hour, with a range of over 161 km with a pilot and four passengers aboard.
Hanwha Aerospace would work with Vertical to develop and mass-produce electric actuators optimized for VX4 and strengthen strategic partnerships in their urban air mobility (UAM) business.
"We are recognized as a strategic partner in the global UAM market that requires the highest level of technology and reliability," Hanwha Aerospace CEO Shin Hyun-woo said in a statement on July 21. "This proves the competitiveness of Hanwha Aerospace, which has been in charge of supplying actuators for various fighter jets and civil aircraft."
Hanwha Systems is a key member of UAM Team Korea, a public-private consultative body that will commercialize drone taxis in 2025. Hanwha Systems and Hanwha Aerospace have jointly invested in Overair, an American eVTOL maker.
Along with Overair, Hanwha Systems would release an unmanned life-size prototype in the first half of 2023. They aim to produce an air taxi called "Butterfly" that can fly at a maxim speed of 320 km per hour. The air taxi will be applied with the tiltrotor design of low noise and high efficiency. Tiltrotor design combines the vertical lift capability of a helicopter with the speed and range of a conventional fixed-wing aircraft.
Hanwha Aerospace involved in the development of a battery-based electric propulsion system that acts as an eVTOL engine would cooperate in developing a hybrid system that combines gas turbines or hydrogen fuel cells with electric batteries.
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