Bengaluru: The new upgraded version of SARAS, the indigenous transport aircraft developed by National Aeronautics Laboratory, successfully made its maiden flight on Wednesday.
SARAS PT1N (14 seater) is designed and developed by CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (CSIR-NAL).
Congratulating the scientists of CSIR-NAL and other agencies involved in the successful maiden flight, Union Minister for Science and Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan tweeted:
I congratulate CSIR-National Aerospace Lab scientists on the maiden flight of 14 seater SARAS PT1N. Designed & developed by CSIR-NAL, it flew for about 30 minutes this morning at a maximum height of 8500 ft at a speed of 145 knots. All the system parameters are found normal. pic.twitter.com/6GzefETZkn
— Dr. Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) January 24, 2018
The flight was commanded by Wing Commander UP Singh, Group Capt RV Panicker and Group Capt KP Bhat from IAF-Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE). The aircraft took off at about 11 am from HAL airport and flew for about 40 minutes at the maximum height of 8500 feet at the speed of 145 knots.
The chase aircraft (KIRAN) was piloted by Group Capt Badrish and telemetry was commanded by Group Capt Naraynen, Wing Commander Pandey and Wing Commander R Sridhar (retd).
All the system parameters were found to be normal.
The primary objective was to evaluate the system performance in about 20 flights, as per an official release. The data collected from this shall be used to freeze the design of production version aircraft. The production version aircraft will be of 19 seat capacity and will undergo civil/military certification.
The flight was monitored by Director, CSIR-NAL, Jitendra J Jadhav, Director, IAF-PMT and Chairman, FRRB, Air Marshal Upkarjit Singh, Director-HAL, Venkatesh, Commandant, ASTE, Air Vice Marshal Sandeep Singh, Chief Executive, CEMILAC Shri P Jayapal, and ADG-AQA Shri VL Raja.
Earlier, the second prototype of SARAS had crashed during a test flight killing all the three crew members on board, on the outskirts of the city near Bidadi in March 2009.
The first prototype of the plane had made its first flight in May 2004.
(With PIB inputs)