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HAL helo, trainer prototypes make first flights
Second prototype of the Light Utility Helicopter. © HAL

HAL helo, trainer prototypes make first flights

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has performed the maiden flights of the second prototypes of two indigenous aircraft programmes: the HTT-40 basic trainer and the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).

In the space of three days, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has performed the maiden flights of the second prototypes of two indigenous aircraft programmes.

Two days after the maiden flight of HTT-40 prototype 2 (PT2) on 20th May, HAL carried out the first flight of Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) PT2 at its facility in Bengaluru.

HAL said the maiden flights were testimony to the company’s rapid progress towards ‘Make in India’ in the fixed and rotary wing segments.

LUH PT2 features a modified tail boom and incorporates improvements based on feedback from testing of LUH PT1. The first flight of LUH PT1 was carried out on 6th September 2016, and further envelope expansion flights are in progress. LUH PT1 took part in the flying display at Aero India 2017 in February. 

HAL plans to carry out further flight testing on PT1 & PT2 in the months ahead to freeze the helicopter configuration by end of this year.

Powered by a Safran Helicopter Engines/HAL Ardiden 1U/Shakti 1U engine, the LUH is a 3t-class new-generation helicopter being indigenously developed by HAL to meet the requirements of both military and civil operators. An integrated LUH production, testing and MRO  facility is under construction at Tumakuru, Karnataka.

Hindustan Turbo Trainer- 40 (HTT-40) is a basic trainer being developed for the Indian Air Force. The first prototype made its maiden flight in May 2016. A total of three prototypes are planned, along with two static test articles. HAL hopes to achieve operational clearance in 2018.

The HHT-40s will complement the Indian Air Force’s existing fleet of 75 Pilatus PC-7 Mark II basic trainers.

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