Light Utility Helicopter (PT-2) makes maiden flight

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Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) conducted the first flight of the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) second prototype (PT-2) on May 22, 2017, at its facility in Bengaluru, India.

The flight test vehicle was flown by Chief Test Pilot Wing Cdr (Retd) Unni K Pillai, and Test Pilot Wing Cdr (Retd) Anil Bhambhani. The flight duration was approximately 22 minutes.

These indigenous aircraft maiden flights are testimony to HAL’s rapid progress toward its ‘Make in India’ campaign, both in fixed and rotary wing segments. These prototypes add strength to ongoing test flights to achieve operational clearance cutting the time frame”, said Shri T Suvarna Raju, chairman and managing director of HAL.

The LUH PT2 has a modified tail boom and incorporates improvements based on feedback from testing of LUH PT1. The first flight of LUH PT1 was carried out on September 6, 2016, and further envelope expansion flights are in progress.

HAL plans to carry out further flight testing on PT1 and PT2 in the months ahead to freeze the helicopter configuration by end of this year. Senior officials from HAL, and representatives from RCMA(H/c), AQA, IAF, and the Indian Army were present during the flight.

The LUH is a 3-metric ton class new generation helicopter being developed in India by HAL to meet the requirements of both military and civil operators. The helicopter with glass cockpit will be deployed for reconnaissance, surveillance roles and as a light transport helicopter.

The helicopter will be capable of flying at 220km/h, with a service ceiling of 6.5km (21,000ft) and a range of 350km with a 400kg payload. The LUH is powered by a HAL/Turbomeca Ardiden 1U/Shakti 1U single turbo-shaft engine with power margins for high altitude missions.

May 30, 2017

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