Bengaluru: Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria flew the homegrown basic trainer aircraft HTT-40 prototype over this aerospace hub for assessing its prowess, said the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) on Thursday.
“Bhadauria flew for the first time the HTT-40, designed and built by our aircraft division, to assess its flying characteristics, including stall and spin,” said the city-based defence behemoth in a statement.
The Air Marshal, who assumed office as the Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief on September 30, was Commanding-in-Chief of its training command and Air Officer Commanding Officer of Flight Test Squadron at the Aircraft & System Testing Establishment in Bengaluru earlier during his illustrious career for over four decades.
The Air Chief took off at 1:20 p.m. and was airborne for an hour along with our chief test pilot Group Captain (retired) K.K. Venugopal.
“Bhadauria is the first serving Air Chief to fly the prototype trainer as Chief of Air Staff. He was satisfied with the aircraft’s performance and appreciated its design, project and flight test teams for the progress on it so far,” said the statement.
The Air Chief told the company to speed up the project for certification by the military regulator Cemilac.
“The HAL must set up modern manufacturing facilities with high production rate from the beginning,” Bhadauria said on the occasion.
HAL’s officiating chairman V.M. Chamola thanked the Air Chief for his support to the trainer project.
The prototype has completed major tests and meets the preliminary staff qualitative requirements of the Air Headquarters for the basic trainer aircraft programme.
“The trainer has completed stalls, engine relights, inverted flying, acrobatic flying and systems testing,” added the statement.