Dhruv inches closer to bagging crucial EASA certification

Written by: Dr Anantha Krishnan M
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Bengaluru, May 26:  Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) inched closer to its long-awaited dream of acquiring the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for the civil variant of Advance Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv.
HAL recently completed the mandatory noise measurement flight trials at Mysuru Airport towards EASA certification, in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The civil variant of Dhruv is currently cleared by Indian certifying agency - the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).


During the process, external aircraft noise levels of Dhruv in three flight conditions were measured, including take-off, approach and flyover. Anotec Consulting, a Spanish company, provided the hardware, software and technical support for the programme.

The noise measurement test programme starts with the identification of low acoustic profile test site and meeting the geometrical size of runway and cross runway distances.

"During noise measurement flight testing, eight flights constituting of 96 noise runs were carried out as part of practice and certification runs. Validity of the runs was considered based on satisfactory weather and flight parameters during the run," says HAL Chairman T Suvarna Raju.

EASA certification to open up new export avenues

HAL officials whom this Correspondent spoke with are of the opinion that the EASA certification process has a number of factes that needs to be addressed with care.

"These are compulsory trials and there are a number of parameters that are tested. They (EASA) want the trials done in a certain way. The performance of the helicopter, functioning of systems, engine fail rate and vibration are among the many parameters the EASA would test," says an HAL insider familiar with the Dhruvs.

HAL claims that around 70 per cent of the work related to EASA certification is over. "There are some minor tests remaining and we hope to have the final EASA stamp for civil variant of Dhruv by end of the year," he says.
Following stringent EASA guidelines, HAL needs to go through an exhaustive documentation and paper work ahead of the crucial certification.

Once Dhruv bags the EASA certification, a whole new market would open up for HAL. The Company could penetrate into new markets in Europe.

HAL inks pact with BAe Systems on Hawk upgrade

In an unrelated development, HAL inked an MoU with BAe Systems recently for Hawk Mk132 upgrade. The MoU also envisages the development of combat Hawk for Indian and export markets, in addition to the maintenance solutions for supporting Jaguar and Hawk fleet.

(The writer is a seasoned aerospace and defence journalist in India. He is the Consultant Editor (Defence) with OneIndia. He tweets @writetake.)

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