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Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) Night Intruder - NI-500VT (prototype)

Korea Aerospace Industries Night Intruder (NI-500VT)


Night Intruder - NI-500VT (prototype)
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI)
Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea

Korea Aerospace Industries is headquartered in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea and was formed on October 1, 1999 from a merger of Daewoo Heavy Industries, Hyundai Space and Aircraft Company, and Samsung Aerospace. The company is an aerospace and defense company that manufactures fixed-wing aircraft (from general aviation airplanes to military fighter jets), helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, space launch vehicles, satellites, training systems and more. The company has recently revealed a new passenger and air cargo electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for advanced air mobility (AAM). Making aircraft for AAM is part of the company's new strategy to make KAI the number one aerospace company in Asia by 2030.

Night Intruder (NI-500VTG) eVTOL surveillance aircraft
The Night Intruder (NI-500VTG) is a remote controlled or autonomous scalable eVTOL surveillance aircraft used for intelligence and reconnaissance. The full name of the military eVTOL aircraft is the Night Intruder 500 Vectored Thrust or the NI-500VT. The aircraft was made for a potential Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) requirement for a next-generation, reconnaissance and target acquisition high-speed uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV). The NI-500VT concept model was displayed at the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition 2021 (ADEX 2021) held from 19-23 October 2021 in South Korea.

The aircraft has two forward tilt-rotors, two rear fixed VTOL propellers and has fixed-skid type landing gear. No cruise speeds or cruise altitudes have been reported as of the fall of 2021. The concept design can also carry a payload up to 40 kg (88 lb). The aircraft is  4 m (13.1 ft) in length, 4.3 m (14.1 ft) wide and 1.2 m (3.94 ft) high.

The main high wing is a stationary wing and does not rotate. At the ends of each main wing are the front two tilt-rotors. The two front tilt-rotors are used for VTOL, transition flight and forward flight. The rear tail is a stationary V-tail and at the top of each vertical stabilizer is a fixed propeller for VTOL flight only. During VTOL and transition flight, all rotors are used. During forward flight, the aircraft uses its two main tilt-rotors and the two rear VTOL propellers are turned off. The aircraft's main wing can be disassembled for ground or air transportation.

The tilt-rotor aircraft has multiple sensors which can locate targets and other data then transmit everything in real-time to a command center which can then take appropriate action such as order attack helicopters or fighter jets to eliminate targets. It was reported the Night Intruder can fly on its battery packs over enemy territory very quietly for five hours.

It is unknown when flying prototypes were made and how much testing has been accomplished. It is also unknown if the production aircraft will be larger and when estimated production will begin.


  • Aircraft type: Military eVTOL concept design cargo and surveillance aircraft
  • Piloting: Remote or autonomous piloting
  • Capacity: 40 kg
  • Cruise speed: Unknown
  • Range: Unknown
  • Flight Time: 5 hours
  • Cruise altitude: Unknown
  • Maximum payload: 40 kg (88 lb)
  • Maximum takeoff weight: 450 kg (992 lb)
  • Length: 4 m (13.1 ft)
  • Width: 4.3 m (14.1 ft)
  • Height: 1.2 m (3.94 ft)
  • Propellers: 4 propellers
  • Electric Motors: 4 electric motors
  • Power source: Battery packs
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Wings: 1 main high wing
  • Tail: 1 V-tail
  • Landing gear: Fixed skid landing gear
  • Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft.

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