India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has commenced the spin flight testing of the Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) in Bengaluru.

HAL’s test pilots group captain HV Thakur (retired) and wing commander P Avasti (retired) conducted the flights.

This is said to be the most important phase in the flight testing.

In 2015, the Indian Air Force (IAF) asked HAL to halt work on its IJT programme, following the crash of a HAL-built Hawk advanced jet trainer (AJT).

Designed and developed by HAL, the aircraft will replace the IAF’s Kiran aircraft fleet.

HAL has announced that it will gradually progress the test to analyse the aircraft until six turn spins to both sides side to meet the targets.

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The aircraft was previously tested with regards to the speed, altitude and load factor (‘g’ envelope). Additionally, it was integrated with drop tanks and bombs.

The company moved the vertical tail aft and extended the rudder surface to redesign the aircraft for the spin test.

It is expected to allow a suitable spin behaviour that is needed for the redesign of the rear fuselage and the rudder.

Two aircraft have been changed in accordance with the certification agencies at all stages.

After the modification, flight tests were carried out to assess it with the new configuration. They are equipped with the necessary safety devices.

In August, the Indian Government proposed to sell up to 15% equity shares of HAL.