[Photo provided by Hanwha Systems Co.]
Hanwha Systems Co., the defense and ICT unit of South Korea’s Hanwha Group, will set up a limited liability company on urban air mobility (UAM) in the United States for global foothold for the business it is building up at home.
“The U.S. subsidiary will strengthen our ties with our American partner Overair and help us set global standards for UAM. It will also serve as a control tower for our future business in Europe and Asia,” said Kim Yeon-chul, CEO of Hanwha Systems at the Seoul Smart Mobility Expo 2021.
The location of the company is yet to be decided. It is mostly likely to be based in Los Angeles or Silicon Valley in California where its U.S. partner personal air vehicle provider Overair is based.
Hanwha Systems and Overair have been partnered since February last year on the project Butterfly, an all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Hanwha is hoping to complete the development by 2023 and debut a short-distance aerial vehicle in Seoul in 2025.
The new U.S. UAM subsidiary will go beyond aircraft manufacturing. It will become an integrated UAM service provider that will offer a one-stop solution from booking, boarding to connection with other modes of public transport, Hanwha explained.
At the Seoul Smart Mobility Expo, Hanwha offered a glimpse into the flying taxi reservation system it is developing and displayed the mock-up model of its air taxi Butterfly. The aerial taxi can travel from Seoul to Incheon, off west where the international air gateway is based, within 20 minutes, sharply reducing the commuting time of an hour by a car.
By Lee Yu-sup and Lee Soo-min
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