PLANA Opens Two California Locations While Seeking FAA Certification

The Korean eVTOL developer says the new offices are part of its plan to expand into new markets.

PLANA, a developer of hybrid-electric aircraft based in South Korea, said it opened branch offices in Silicon Valley and Irvine, California as part of a plan to aid with FAA certification of its aircraft and expand into multiple markets.

The company said it will also continue to develop partnerships with companies in the U.S. as it moves through the certification process..  

“FAA certification is one of the most important processes for companies in the aerospace industry,” said Braden J. Kim, PLANA’s CEO. “With the establishment of the U.S. subsidiary, we plan to increase our interactions in the newly created [advanced air mobility] AAM market as well as FAA certification.”

PLANA said it is developing an eVTOL aircraft that uses sustainable aviation fuel in its hybrid powertrain to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent compared with existing helicopters. The aircraft is meant to have a range of 500 kilometers, or about 310 miles,  while carrying a pilot and four passengers.

The company said it is conducting test flights with a one-fifth-scale model of its eVTOL. Later this year, the company plans to take part in the K-UAM Grand Challenge, a demonstration event organized by the country’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

The PLANA aircraft is part of a large field of battery-electric and hybrid-electric eVTOLs that are moving through development and certification processes with plans to enter passenger service within two to three years.


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