HAL plans to develop trubo-prop plane

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 22 2009, 20:55pm hrs
As the Indian Air Force (IAF) prepares to phase out its basic trainer aircraft, state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is planning to develop a turbo-prop plane to cater to the force's requirement for training its pilots.

"IAF is planning to phase out the HPT-32 'Deepak' aircraft by 2014. We are planning to develop a new turbo-prop for training IAF's entry-level pilots in the Air Force Academy (AFA)," HAL officials told PTI here.

The new aircraft, they said, would be equipped with latest training gadgets, head-up displays, ejection seats and retractable landing gears.

"It will have on-board computers and latest display equipment to helping the pilots to hone their flying-skills," officials said.

Unlike the HPT-32s, the new tandem-seat aircraft will have an air-conditioned cockpit allowing the cadet and trainer to have a "cool" flying experience, they said.

Powered by a single-engine, the aircraft will fly at a maximum speed of around 400 kms with a service-ceiling of 6000 metres.

HAL officials said that configuration and performance specification of the aircraft would be finalised after

discussions with the IAF.