Production version of LCA 'Tejas' takes to skies

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Bangalore, June 16 (UNI) The much-awaited maiden flight of LSP-2 (Limited Series Production) of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft 'Tejas' was successfully carried out at the HAL airport here.

The state-of-the-art aircraft, which was flown by National Flight Test Centre (NFTC) test pilot Wg Cdr N Tiwari, took off majestically and flew for 30 minutes at 1.1 Mach crossing 1,200 kmph. As had been the practice, the maiden flight of this aircraft was chased by another Tejas aircraft PV3, piloted by Wg Cdr RR Tyagi.

Speaking to UNI here, Mr L S Subramanium, Chief of LCA Division of HAL, the public sector aircraft manufacturer, said it was a key phase of the jet fighter. So far, the prototypes had completed 900 flights.

A HAL release here said that eventhough the aircraft was ready for its maiden flight last week itself, the flight could not take off because of the pre-monsoon weather prevailing in Bangalore.

The flight was conducted by NFTC of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) from its telemetry station, with Wg Cdr M Prabhu, flight test engineer, as the test director.

Today's maiden flight of LSP-2 was significant on several accounts. This is the second limited series production aircraft that rolled out of the LSP hangar of HAL. It is the first aircraft powered by the new GE404-IN20 engine and also had a new ejection seat version, the Martin Baker Mk 16LG, the release said.

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