Indigenous trainer aircraft HTT-40 makes inaugural flight

The Indian Air Force is expected to procure 70 HTT-40 aircraft.

Last Updated: Jun 17, 2016, 16:25 PM IST
Indigenous trainer aircraft HTT-40 makes inaugural flight

Bengaluru: Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40), India's indigenous basic trainer aircraft, made its inaugural flight at the HAL Airport here on Friday.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was present on the occasion.

The two-seater aircraft designed and developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited was flown by Group Captain C Subramaniam and Group Captain Venugopal for about 10 to 15 minutes.

 

Aimed at being used for the first stage training for all flying cadets of the three services, HTT-40 made its maiden flight on May 31.

The Indian Air Force is expected to procure 70 HTT-40 aircraft.

The detailed design phase of HTT-40 was launched in August 2013 with HAL's internal funding and was completed in May 2015. From then, it has taken 12 months to fly the first prototype.

While the HTT-40 programme was almost junked during the UPA rule, Parrikar pushed both IAF and HAL to ensure the development of the trainer.

Complimenting the HTT-40 team for the accomplishment, he said, "when I came here in March 2015 the confidence they had infected me also. They had promised me within one year they will fly the aircraft. I'm happy that they have kept the assurance."

According to HAL, the team behind HTT-40 programme is "young" with an average age of 29 when it started.

The programme aims to achieve its operational clearance by 2018, and towards this, the company will be manufacturing three prototypes and two static-test specimens.

Also, work has started on the stall and spin tests campaign in order to meet the project timelines.

The Defence Minister said, "I request them to bring it still earlier, by the beginning of 2018 so that they can go into serial production in 2018 itself."

He said while HAL would supply HTT-40 to defence forces, it would be permitted for a certain percentage of export.

Stating that HAL has proven track record in the design and development of basic trainer, Chairman T Suvarna Raju said that HTT-40 was an example of the company's commitment to indigenously developing trainer aircraft for the armed forces. 

(With PTI inputs)