Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar witnessed the inaugural flight of India’s indigenous HTT 40 (Basic Trainer Aircraft - BTA), designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), on 17th June.
The tandem two-seat aircraft was flown by Gp. Capt. C. Subramaniam and Gp. Capt. Venugopal for about 10-15 minutes around 09.15 hrs in overcast skies. The inaugural flight included a low-speed pass, a series of turns, high-speed pass and short landing using reverse thrust which is a unique feature available on this aircraft.
HAL chairman and managing director T. Suvarna Raju said the project would now go into full throttle with the target of obtaining aircraft certification in 2018. He said the company would build three prototypes and two static test articles.
HAL launched the detail design of the aircraft in August 2013. The detailed design phase was completed in May 2015, just one year before the maiden flight of the first prototype.
The project includes many first-time initiatives such as Digital Mock Up (DMU), real-time systems clash analyses, laser tracking of assembly jigs, six degree of freedom, mathematical modeling, complete glass cockpit etc.
Beyond the basic training variant, HAL is also studying a light attack version.