MUH-1 Marineon - Marine Utility Helicopter
The MUH-1, or Marine Utility Helicopter, better known as “Marineon” is the Surion-variant Amphibious helicopter that KAI developed to enhance the ability which the Marine Corps carries out the multi-dimensional high-speed land and take-off operations. The South Korean Marine Corps originally planned to purchase 30 mobile landing helicopters by 2023. In early 2018, the first two MUH-1 vehicles (tail numbers "001" and "002") were transferred to the 1st Marine Division of South Korea, which were built in 2017 and underwent an extensive test program, including on ships of the Navy South Korea, including the Dokdo amphibious assault ship.
The transfer of two MUH-1 helicopters marked the revival of its own aviation Marine Corps of South Korea. The South Korean Marines had their own aviation (in the form of light aircraft) from 1958 to 1973, but later this aircraft component was transferred to the army aviation. ROKMC is expected to activate three squadrons by 2021, creating one naval aviation group.
MUH-1 helicopters for the Marine Corps differ from the army KUH-1 in "marinizing" equipment and systems, as well as equipping with ballonets for the possibility of landing on water. The MUH-1 helicopter is capable of carrying up to 15 infantrymen (the actual nominal capacity is nine infantrymen and two airborne gunners). On the basis of the MUH-1 KAI, a shipborne anti-submarine version is being developed, and the South Korean Navy is considering the possibility of purchasing 40 such helicopters in the future.
From the side of bmpd, recallthat the development of the KUH-1 Surion c helicopter was carried out by KAI together with the European association EADS Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) under an agreement of June 2006. At the same time, it was Airbus Helicopters who was responsible for the development of the entire carrier system of the helicopter and flight control systems, and in fact, apparently, also determined the general appearance of the machine, which looks like a somewhat reduced version of the Puma and Super Puma helicopters. As part of the production program, Airbus Helicopters supplies the main gearbox assemblies for all KUH-1 machines under construction.
On July 17, 2018, a South Korean-made MUH-1 helicopter crashed at the base of the South Korean Marine Corps in Pohang. The helicopter was one of two helicopters that were just delivered to the South Korean Marine Corps in early 2018. The main rotor and the fuselage separated 10 seconds after the aircraft lifted off, causing the crash. It is said that 5 of the 6 people on board have been killed. The military is stepped up investigations into the cause of the accident. People familiar with the matter said on the 19th that investigators preliminarily inferred that the possibility of pilot errors is low, so they will focus on investigating whether this helicopter has design flaws.
The video released by the South Korean military showed that the propeller fell off four or five seconds after the helicopter took off, causing it to fall from a height of about 10 meters from the ground and burst into flames.
The MUH-1 was transformed from the "Perfect Eagle" KUH-1 helicopter. An unnamed South Korean military source told Yonhap News on the 19th that since the "Perfect Eagle" series helicopters were put into mass production in 2012, "despite many types of accidents and defects, but like this propeller This is the first time the whole fall off."
The pilot of the crashed helicopter was a veteran with approximately 3,300 hours of flying experience. The investigators therefore preliminarily concluded that the problem was more likely to be the helicopter, not the pilot. The source said that the South Korean military intends to focus on investigating whether the helicopter has "basic design defects", "airframe defects" or "other equipment defects."
According to a source from a South Korean military industry company, “there was a similar accident on a Eurocopter before, and the propeller fell off and caused the crash.” The design of that helicopter is similar to that of the "Perfect Eagle". For example, the aircraft type of the two helicopters is the same, so it is inferred that "the cause of the crash may also be similar." In April 2016, a "Super Puma" helicopter crashed in Norway after its propeller fell off, killing 13 people. The "Super Puma" helicopter was developed by the European Airbus Helicopter Company, which was formerly known as Eurocopter.
Korea Aerospace Industries referred to the design plan of the "Super Puma" when developing the "Perfect Eagle" helicopter. Korea Aerospace Industries Corporation expressed its willingness to cooperate with the investigation of the latest crash and will seek technical support from Airbus Helicopters if necessary.
The MUH-1 landing mobile helicopter that crashed in South Korea was delivered to the Marine Corps in January this year. It has recently undergone maintenance. It was originally a test flight on the 17th of this month. After the crash, more than 90 "Perfect Eagle" helicopters of the South Korean Army and 3 other MUH-1 helicopters of the Marine Corps have been grounded.
The South Korean Marine Corps originally planned to purchase more than 20 landing mobile helicopters of the same model by 2023, two of which were originally scheduled to be delivered later in 2018. Affected by the crash, this procurement plan may be suspended. Relevant persons in the Korean military industry believe that the cause of the accident may be a flaw in the basic design. The Army has ordered the grounding of more than 90 active-duty "Perfect Eagle" helicopters. The other three Marine Corps version, namely the MUH-1 type landing mobile helicopters are also grounded.
Defects in the rotor mast made by Airbus Helicopters were blamed for the accident. The French government agreed in 2019 to guarantee the quality of 13 major parts produced by Airbus for the Surion. The 13 components, including rotor masts and gearboxes, are categorized as so-called key flight parts, which means any part or installation whose malfunction or absence could cause loss of or serious damage to the aircraft, as well as serious injury or death to the occupants. The military authorities fully implemented follow-up measures after the accident and carried out training for about 16 months in order to ensure their mission capabilities and safety, and experts decided on the resumption in April 2020.
The Marine Corps resumed the operation of its Marineon utility helicopters, two years after they were grounded after a deadly crash, officials said 09 June 2020. "The Marineon resumed flight operations Monday at the 1st Marine Aviation Squadron in the city of Pohang," an official said.
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