HAL rolls out prototype of basic trainer plane

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 Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. said it has rolled out the first prototype of its basic trainer aircraft HTT-40, which is planned to be the first of three-rung trainers used by Air Force pilots.

The aircraft is now ready to take up ground runs and taxi trials after which it will be readied for flight, HAL said.

HAL’s Aircraft Research and Design Centre is developing the twin-seater Hindustan Turboprop Trainer, which can also be modified into a light attack aircraft. Apart from training novice military pilots, it can be used for aerobatics, instrument flying, navigation, night flying and close formation.

A mix of the home-made HTT-40 and the Swiss Pilatus Pc-7 MkII is planned to be used by the Force in place of the old trainers.

A HAL release quoting CMD T. Suvarna Raju said, “The project has managed to steer [itself] through initial headwinds and is now going full throttle. There are plans to weaponise and optimise the aircraft.”

The team working on HTT-40 is the youngest on any of HAL’s prototype programmes.

The first prototype was rolled out of the equipping facility at the ARDC hangar recently using a remotely operated minicar. It was witnessed by HAL board members, Flight Operations team, the IAF-Integrated Project Management Team headed by Air Marshal Rajesh Kumar, Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness and Regional Director of Quality Assurance.

It will be manufactured by Aircraft Division, HAL, Bengaluru. In May 2015, the Honeywell Garrett TPE331-12B turboprop engine was chosen for it. Out of the 90 LRUs or components of the HTT-40, 70 systems are sourced from HAL’s divisions in Lucknow, Hyderabad and Korwa.

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