Indigenous trainer aircraft HTT-40 makes inaugural flight

  • PTI, Bengaluru
  • Updated: Jun 17, 2016 17:41 IST
A HTT-40 aircraft developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited takes part in a test flight in Bangalore on Friday. (AFP)

India’s indigenous basic trainer aircraft, Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40) on Friday made its inaugural flight here in the presence of defence minister Manohar Parrikar.

The two-seater aircraft designed and developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited was flown by Group Captain C  Subramaniam and Group Captain Venugopal for about 10 to 15  minutes at the HAL Airport here.

Aimed at being used for the first stage training for all flying cadets of the three services, HTT-40 made its maiden flight on May 31.

Indian Air Force is expected to procure 70 HTT-40 aircraft.

Detailed design phase of HTT-40 was launched in August  2013 with HAL’s internal funding and was completed in May 2015. From then, it has taken 12 months to fly the first  prototype.

While the HTT-40 programme was almost junked during the UPA rule, Parrikar pushed both IAF and HAL to ensure  development of the trainer.

Complimenting the HTT-40 team for the accomplishment, he said, “when I came here in March 2015 the confidence they had infected me also. They had promised me within one year they  will fly the aircraft. I’m happy that they have kept the  assurance.”

Union defence minister Manohar Parikkar sitting inside the cockpit during the inaugural flight of HTT-40. (PTI Photo)

According to HAL, the team behind HTT-40 programme is “young” with an average age of 29 when it started.

The programme aims to achieve its operational clearance by 2018, and towards this the company will be manufacturing three prototypes and two static-test specimens.

Also work has started on the stall and spin tests  campaign in order to meet the project timelines.

The Defence Minister said, “I request them to bring it  still earlier, by the beginning of 2018, so that they can go  into serial production in 2018 itself.”

He said while HAL would supply HTT-40 to defence forces, it would be permitted for certain percentage of export.

Stating that HAL has proven track record in the design  and development of basic trainer, Chairman T Suvarna Raju said HTT-40 was an example of the company’s commitment to indigenously developing trainer aircraft for the armed forces.

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