Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has announced the successful first flight of its vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned helicopter designed for military and civil applications.
The 600kg-class NI-600VT (Night Intruder-600) unmanned copter completed its test flight on 24 September, in Goheung Aerospace Center, South Jeolla Province. The drone can be used for surveillance and reconnaissance operations in mountainous and marine regions, search and rescue missions, cargo transport.
“The NI-600VT showed hovering and horizontal direction conversion functions and by doing so, the copter confirmed its flight control performance and safety,” the company said in a statement.
The NI-600VT is a 600-kilogram vertical take-off and landing unmanned helicopter based on a manned helicopter with two seats. Key systems such as automatic flight control and aviation electronics were indigenously developed. According to KAI, the aircraft can locate its position automatically in emergency conditions and can return to its base.
The company plans to complete the first stage of development and secure automatic take-off and landing capabilities in this year.
KAI began developing the copter in 2017. This July, the drone acquired a Special Airworthiness Certificate from Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. In the following month it was awarded a flight permit from Busan Regional Aviation Administration in accordance with Aviation Safety Act.