Bangalore, Jun 26: The Bangalore-based National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) will design a 70-seater passenger aircraft at a cost of approximately Rupees 20.35 billion. The aircraft is expected to be developed over a period of seven years. Director of NAL, A R Upadhya said that the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has already provided rupees three billion for the project.
"Regional Transport Aircraft (RTA-70 caters to the regional transport aircraft requirements in a short haul aircrafts - from not too longer range, shorter ranges, of course you can go up to 2,000 kilometer range. We are talking about turbo-prop aircraft, which are more fuel-efficient. Today, with the cost of fuel sky-rocketing definitely they have a great advantage because they will bring the cost of flying down. And make it affordable to a common man," Upadhya said.
"We also hope that RTA with all technologies which will allow it to operate, take -off and land from airports which are not very well equipped on ground. It will carry systems on board which will help us to take-off," he added.
NAL earlier developed a smaller multipurpose 14-seater aircraft SARAS and Indian Air Force (IAF) has placed orders for 15 aircrafts that would be supplied by 2010.
The two SARAS prototypes were grounded for sometime due to overweight problems and NAL later cut down the flab.
The NAL also has the HANSA trainer aircraft to its credit.