Indian company Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has successfully conducted the maiden flight of the light combat helicopter (Technology Demonstrator-2) with the indigenously built automatic flight control system (AFCS).
The AFCS has been designed and manufactured for the first time in the country by the state-owned aerospace and defence company.
The first flight, which has helped strengthen the Government of India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, was carried out for 20 minutes with the AFCS.
HAL chairman and managing director T Suvarna Raju said that development of the new AFCS is funded by the company to replace the currently existing ‘high-value imported system’.
In a statement published by HAL, Raju said: “The AFCS is a digital four-axis flight control system capable of performing control and stability augmentation function and auto-pilot modes of helicopters.”
Raju added that the indigenous development of the hardware, software, and control law is a fully in-house effort of HAL research and development (R&D) centres, including the Rotary Wing Research and Design Centre (RWR&DC), the Mission and Combat Systems Research and Design Centre (MCSRDC) at Bengaluru, Strategic Electronics Research and Design Centre (SLRDC) at Hyderabad, and Korwa Division.
The integrated architecture display system (IADS), which is the cockpit display solution integrated on the light combat helicopter, has also been developed by HAL in collaboration with other private industries in India.
The development flight testing for the IADS is currently in progress.
The company’s light combat helicopter achieved the initial operational clearance (IOC) on 26 August last year.