Big moment for HAL! IAF Chief Bhadauria flies indigenous HTT-40 basic trainer, applauds HAL team

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Published: November 14, 2019 10:20:28 PM

According to the HAL, in his maiden sortie onboard HTT-40 which lasted an hour, the Air Chief Bhadauria accompanied by HAL’s Chief Test Pilot (FW), Gp Capt (Retd) KK Venugopal, assessed the aircraft flying characteristics including stall and spin.

IAF Chief Bhadauria, HTT 40 basic trainer, HAL, HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft, Make in India initiative, indigenous HTT-40, indian navyThe IAF is hoping that the HAL’s HTT-40 clears all critical trials as it hopes to have these in services, as in light of the controversy surrounding the Swiss aircraft-maker Pilatus, no follow on orders can be placed.

In a big show of faith, the chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF) ACM RKS Bhadauria went for a spin in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft (TSR002) on Thursday. The aircraft he flew in is the second prototype.

According to the HAL, in his maiden sortie onboard HTT-40 which lasted an hour, the Air Chief Bhadauria accompanied by HAL’s Chief Test Pilot (FW), Gp Capt (Retd) KK Venugopal, assessed the aircraft flying characteristics including stall and spin.

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Bhadauria has become the first-ever serving Air Chief to fly in an aircraft which has been developed and designed by HAL and which is still in the prototype stage. The Air Chief, who is a qualified flying instructor, and one of the finest pilots of the IAF appreciated the design, project and flight test teams for having achieved the commendable progress.

The chief said that the project needs to be expedited for certification and HAL must target setting of modern manufacturing facilities with high production rate from the beginning.

The indigenous HTT-40 falls under the category of “Indian designed, developed and manufactured” (IDDM) equipment of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP-2016). And according to HAL officials, the trainer aircraft has cleared all Air Staff Qualitative Requirements (ASQR) so far.

The indigenous HTT-40 designed and developed by HAL is a basic fixed-wing aircraft and is suitable for the young IAF officers who are learning how to fly. The IAF is planning to issue RFP for around 70 HTT-40 trainers soon which presently has a Honeywell turboprop engine TPE-331-12B.

The IAF is hoping that the HAL’s HTT-40 clears all critical trials as it hopes to have these in services, as in light of the controversy surrounding the Swiss aircraft-maker Pilatus, no follow on orders can be placed.

At the annual presser in October, the air chief had announced that the IAF is looking towards the indigenous trainer aircraft in an effort to give boost to Make in India initiative.

HAL spokesperson told earlier told Financial Express Online that “The focus is on completing the certification process of HTT40 at the earliest as the aim is that aircraft gets inducted in the IAF after meeting all the parameters stated by the customer.”

The HTT-40 has completed all the major spin tests in a short span of five years and Rs 350 crore has been spent on the project.

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