Tejas on its maiden flight breaks sound barrier

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Bangalore, June 17 : The much-awaited maiden flight of Tejas Limited Series Production aircraft (LSP-2) took place at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Airport.

This is the second time that a Tejas aircraft has flown supersonic in its very first flight. The tests for the specific flight covered engine handling and check out of aircraft systems within the envelope flown.

Even though the aircraft was ready for its maiden flight last week itself, the flight could not take place because of the pre-monsoon weather prevailing over Bangalore.

National Flight Test Centre (NFTC) of Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) conducted the flight on Monday.

NFTC test pilot Wing Commander N Tiwari flew the aircraft. Another Tejas aircraft PV3, piloted by Wing Commander RR Tyagi, chased the maiden flight of this aircraft.

The test was conducted from NFTC's telemetry station, with Wing Commander M Prabhu, flight test engineer, as the test director.

This is the second limited series production aircraft that rolled out of the LSP hangar of HAL. This is also the first aircraft powered by the new GE404-IN20 engine and also has a new ejection seat version, the Martin Baker Mk 16LG.

The IN20 engine has several improved features over the GE404-F2J3 engines that have been powering the previous Tejas prototypes, like the Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC), increased thrust and life.

The aircraft to be delivered to the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy will have this engine. Hence, this is an important step towards achieving Initial Operational Capability (IOC) and further induction of the aircraft into the IAF and Indian Navy.

The flight lasted 43 minutes wherein it covered an altitude of 9.5 km and a speed of 1.1 Mach.

All the aircraft systems performed well and all the test objectives were fully achieved.

ANI

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