The KAI KT-1 Woongbi is a South Korean single-engine turboprop used as a basic trainer and a light attack aircraft. It was jointly built by Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) and the Agency for Defense Development (ADD). The KT-1 Woongbi is the first entirely indigenous Korean aircraft ever built.
The KT-1 originated from the KTX program that was launched in 1988 which desired to build an indigenously designed trainer aircraft. In June 1991, the first prototype was completed; there were nine prototypes constructed. In November 1991, the KT-1 conducted its maiden flight. By 1995, the aircraft was officially designated as the Woongbi. In 1998, the last test flight was completed. An initial production aircraft was signed for 85 aircraft on the succeeding year, with provisions for another 20, between Korean Aerospace Industries and Republic of Korea Air Force.
In 2002, the company unveiled that they were working on the production of an upgraded and armed variant of the KT-1 basic trainer. The KO-1 variant was planned to be utilized in the forward air control and counter-insurgency functions. On March 8, 2006, the manufacturing company planned to export more than one hundred and fifty upgraded versions of the KT-1 to several countries across Central America and Southeast Asia.
The KT-1 Woongbi can be outfitted with either an analog or a glass cockpit configuration. Some versions showcase additional avionics and systems such as the Night Vision Goggles (NVG)- compatible cockpit, head-up display, multi-function displays, GPS/inertial navigation system, mission computer, onboard oxygen generation system, vapor-cycle environmental control system and hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS)- compatible controls. The avionics system of the aircraft was produced by different companies such as Elbit, Flight Vision, and Thales.
The KT-1 Woongbi can be armed with different guns, bombs, rockets, and missiles when being used for light attack missions. The aircraft can also include external fuel tanks, a centrally-mounted forward-looking infrared (FLIRA) sensor, and a laser range finder.
The aircraft is powered by a Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-62 turboprop engine which produces a maximum thrust of 950 horsepower. It can fly up to 37,990 feet and can climb at a rate of 3,500 feet per minute. It has a travel range of 720 nautical miles.