South Korea has conducted flight trials of its TR-60 small vertical take off and landing tiltrotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle from a moving ship on July 7.
The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) said the 200 kg UAV took off from and landed on a Korea Coast Guard vessel travelling at a speed of 10 kt.
It is a remarkable achievement for the Country, to be able to automatically land a tiltrotor UAV on a moving and unstable deck like a ship.
The TR-60 featured a skid rather than wheels for the ship borne operation.
To accomplish this, Real time Kinematics-GPS (RTK-GPS) technology was used for precise measurement of the relative position of the ship which is moving independently and the relative position of the unmanned period (the position of the UAV relative to the landing point of the ship) precisely so that the relative position becomes close to zero at the moment of landing.
The tiltrotor UAV is intended for performing maritime surveillance missions like search and rescue, maritime safety, and illegal fishing detection.
Weighing 210 kg, the TR-60 is 3 m long and 5 m wide (one rotor tip to another), powered by two 55 hp rotary engine.
The engine nacelles rotate 90 degree vertical for take off and landing like a helicopter, while they rotate 90 degree horizontal for cruise flight like a turboprop aircraft.
Hence the TR-60 can achieve a top speed of 250 kmph, making it the fastest tiltrotor in the world. It can carry a 30 kg payload, such as a stabilized forward looking infra-red (FLIR) and have a 200 km radius of action with an endurance of 5-6 hours.
The TR-60 is a more practical version of the TR-100 tiltrotor developed by KARI in 2012, which weighed 1000 kg.