Bangalore: India`s light combat aircraft
Tejas has successfully completed the `drop tank jettison
trial` over the recently commissioned air-to-ground range of
National Flight Test Centre at Chitradurga.
The 1,200-litre drop tank jettison trial was conducted
yesterday at a critical point in the jettison envelope on
Tejas LSP-3 aircraft, piloted by Group Captian Suneet Krishna,
P S Subramanyam, Programme Director (CA) and Director of the
Aeronautical Development Agency, said in a statement here.
Jettisonable drop tanks are carried by a combat aircraft,
after completing the mission and are required to be dropped
from the mother aircraft for a quick getaway from the enemy
territory and other emergency situations.
To ensure safety of flight, clean separation of the tank
with adequate clearances from the mother aircraft or
neighbouring stores are needed to be established from flight
The trial aircraft was escorted by another Tejas PV-2
which captured the external video picture of the drop tank
trajectory after release.
The theoretical predictions were further verified through
`Pit drop tests`, conducted on a test specimen using specially
designed test rig with part of the aircraft system and high
speed photography system integrated with it.
The test cases covered a number of conditions such as
empty, partial and full drop tanks as well as different
Ejector Release Unit (ERU) settings.
The flight tests were planned by National Flight Test
centre, Aeronautical Development Agency, "at certain
representative critical release condition."
Considering the critical nature of this test, a safety
review was conducted at NFTC to ensure all foreseeable
safety issues were taken care of before embarking on this
Prahlada, CC-R&D (Ae-SI) of DRDO said "with such test
experiments made by the team, the aeronautical test range
facility at Challakere has paved the smooth way for subsequent
trials of different natures."
He said if this facility were not to be commissioned at
Challakere, all such flight tests would have to be carried on
either at Hyderabad or Pokran.
In view of the close proximity to Challakere to Bangalore
it was more comfortable in conducting the test flights by the
dedicated team the process of which could be monitored from