Make in India: Air chief flies home-built trainer, gives thumbs up

Photo: Indian Air Force chief R. K. S. Bhadauria flying the HAL-built HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft in Bengaluru today.

Bengaluru: In a major endorsement of the ‘Made in India‘ brand, Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal R. K. S. Bhadauria today took to the skies on an indigenously built trainer aircraft and gave a thumbs up to the platform as a future basic trainer for the air force.

Now, HTT-40 will go for Basic Operational Clearance and user evaluation trials readiness soon, according to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Earlier, HTT-40 had successfully completed stalls, engine relights, inverted flying, acrobatic flying and systems testing.

Bhadauria flew the HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft, designed and developed by HAL, for the first time for an hour and during the sortie, assessed the aircraft for its flying characteristics including stall and spin. This marks the first time ever an Air Force chief flying the indigenous trainer aircraft at its prototype stage itself.

The Air Force chief was joined on the aircraft by HAL’s Chief Test Pilot (FW) retired Group Captain K. K. Venugopal.

Photo: Indian Air Force chief R. K. S. Bhadauria and retired Group Captain K. K. Venugopal in the cockpit of HTT-40 aircraft before their sortie today.

After the sortie, Bhadauria expressed his satisfaction with the aircraft performance and appreciated the design, project and flight test teams for having achieved the commendable progress, according to a statement from HAL here.

“The project now needs to be speeded up for certification and HAL must target setting of modern manufacturing facilities with high production rate from the beginning,” Bhadauria was quoted as saying after the sortie.

HAL’s Officiating Chairman and Managing Director V. M. Chamola thanked the Air chief for his support to the HTT-40 project and congratulated the team for realising the project on time.

HAL’s Director (Engineering Research and Development) Arup Chatterjee said the support enabled the indigenous capabilities of the defence organisations like HAL to meet the desired metrics in quality, cost and time lines.

HAL’s Bangalore Complex Chief Executive Officer Shekhar Shrivastava said the details for the production facilities required for producing HTT-40 in desired numbers have concurrently been worked out and HAL’s production will match the requirements of the IAF.

The HTT-40 has completed all major test points and meets the Preliminary Staff Qualitative Requirements (PSQR) issued by Air Headquarters for the Basic Trainer Aircraft programme.

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