Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) recently completed the maiden flight of its Night Intruder-600 unmanned helicopter prototype. The NI-600VT is a modified version of a twin-seat commercial helicopter in the 600 kg class. The NI-600VT Vertical Take- off & Landing (VTOL) platform is being developed with company funds by KAI. The company started work on the programme in 2015 and work on developing a technology demonstrator commenced in 2017.
The NI-600VT’s first flight, took place at Goheung Aerospace Center, South Jeolla Province in September and according to KAI, “the NI-600VT showed hovering and horizontal direction conversion functions and by doing so, the copter confirmed its flight control performance and safety.”
KAI has developed the NI-600VT’s auto flight controls and avionics, as also flight critical equipment, including flight control computer, sensors and data-link. The prototype NI-600VT is capable of locating its position automatically even under emergency conditions and execute a safe return to base.
KAI has also announced its intention to complete the first phase of development of the NI-600VT, within this year and then move on to phase 2, which will involve automatic take-off and landing capability for the unmanned helicopter.
The unmanned helicopter can be used for tasks such as mountain and marine reconnaissance, SAR and cargo trans- port. KAI had displayed prototype of the KUS-10 optionally piloted vehicle, at ADEX 2017. It was being developed with the goal of developing an unmanned helicopter based on the MD 500 light rotorcraft.
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