Indian-built light utility helicopter takes first-flight

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HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) conducted the first technical flight of the Indian-designed and built Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) in Bangalore, India, on September 6. The helicopter was airborne for 15 minutes at HAL facilities. The flawless flight was carried out by HAL test pilots and marks another significant milestone for the Indian, state-owned aerospace and defense company.

This event marks an important and significant beginning for prototype testing of the LUH, which is the third indigenous helicopter product from the HAL stables after ALH and LCH. Apart from replacing the aging fleet of Cheetah/Chetak, LUH is expected to capture a sizeable share both in domestic and international markets.

The LUH has a maximum All-Up-Weight (AUW) of 3150kg and is fitted with a Safran HE Ardiden-1U engine of 750kW power. It has a designed range of 350km, a service ceiling of 6.5km (21,300ft), and a seating capacity of six passengers plus two pilots.

The helicopter is designed to carry out various utility roles, such as reconnaissance, transport, cargo lifting and rescue operations, and can operate from sea level to the high altitudes of the Himalayas.

September 9, 2016

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