Bengaluru, May 31: The home-grown Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) from the hangars of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) had its first flight in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
The Hindustan Turbo Trainer (HTT-40) was piloted by Group Capt Subramaniam (Retd), Chief Test Pilot, HAL. According to sources, the flight lasted for about 30 minutes.
"Everything went as per the script. The aircraft was cleared for its maiden sortie in the morning by the certifying agencies. Eventually it took off around 8.20 am and landed back after a 30-minute sortie," says an official.
On expected lines, the pilot did not try out any maneuvers and only undertook circuit flying. "The aircraft performance was satisfactory and we will be analysing the data," says the official.
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, who flew the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas from an HAL facility recently, is said to have taken stock of the HTT-40, ahead of its maiden flight.
Earlier in December, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had complimented HAL for sticking to the schedules of HTT-40 project. A total of 72 HTT-40s will be required by the Indian Air Force.
In June last year, Honeywell Aerospace announced in Paris that HAL has selected the TPE331-12B turboprop engine to power the HTT-40.
HAL on its part kept a low-key on this project after the IAF made its displeasure over HAL's desi BTA. IAF displeasure was primarily due to HAL's failure to deliver the Intermediate Jet Trainer.
On February 2, this year, HAL announced the roll-out the first prototype of HTT-40. HAL also said that there are plans to weaponise and optimise the trainer.
Meanwhile, it was festive mood at HAL's Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC) on Tuesday soon after HTT-40 landed after its maiden sortie.
HAL Chairman T Suvarna Raju has complimented the young HTT-40 team, who played a significant role in executing the BTA project successfully.
"It is a historic day for us and I am inspired by my young team," Raju told OneIndia.