Airbus and KAI have handed over the first LCH helicopter
The first LCH (Light Civil Helicopter) built in South Korea has now been delivered. It is used by initial operator Gloria Aviation for Helicopter Emergency Services (HEMS).
Since 2015, Airbus Helicopters and Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) have been cooperating on the development of two helicopters based on the H155. On the one hand the civil helicopter LCH (Light Civil Helicopter) and on the other hand the LAH (Light Armed Helicopter), an armed version for the South Korean armed forces.
According to the original program planning, the first LCH was actually supposed to be delivered in 2021, but due to some delays, the first example was only handed over to the launch customer Gloria Aviation after being approved last month. The operator will station the new helicopter as a rescue helicopter on the popular holiday island of Jeju in the south of the country from December this year.
KAI is a long-term partner of Airbus
Bruno Even, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airbus Helicopters, said at the handover: “KAI is a long-standing partner of Airbus on several strategic helicopter development programs. We are excited about this first LCH delivery which, together with the upcoming LAH qualification, heralds a new chapter in our partnership as we move into the serial production phase.
We are also excited to take our partnership a step further to prepare for the development of new variants that will not only meet the operational needs of end users, but will bring tremendous technical and economic benefits to the local aerospace industry in the years to come.”
Airbus Helicopters and KAI also offer the LCH in search and rescue, police and firefighting configurations.