South Korea has emerged as the 28th country in the world capable of manufacturing passenger aircraft. The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs successfully broke the news this week after the successful maiden flight of the Korean-made Naraon.
The four-seater passenger plane was developed by the land ministry and state-owned Korea Aerospace Industries. The aviation company develops military aircraft, but in 2008 began developing its own the Naraon with its own technologies. Detailed in the Korea JoongAng Daily, the plane has a max speed of 389kph and a range of 1,850 km. This puts it in reach of major cities in Japan, China and some Southeast Asian destinations.
The Korean government is ironing out a bilateral aviation safety agreement with the USA which it expects to sign by 2013. As a certified private aircraft manufacturer, Korea will begin exporting the Naraon at US$568,800 each.