India’s indigenously built light transport aircraft Saras has successfully conducted a test flight for the second time from Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) airport in Bengaluru.
Indian Air Force (IAF) air vice-marshal Sandeep Singh said that the IAF is committed to test and induct the first 15 Saras aircraft designed and built by local manufacturers.
The current trial was conducted as part of 20 test flights planned for the Saras PT1N aircraft in order to demonstrate the capability of the jet.
The first test was successfully carried out on 24 January.
Designed and developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), the production model aircraft is expected to be ready between June and July this year, a company statement said.
The flight test has been carried out following major upgrades incorporated by NAL on the Saras PT 1 model that includes installation of 2x1200shp engines and a 104in diameter propeller, in addition to enhanced flight control system, rudder area, main wheel, and brakes.
With a considerable drag / weight reduction, the modified version of the aircraft is upgraded with several features such as high cruise speed, lower fuel consumption, short landing and take-off distance, low cabin noise, operable from high and hot airfield, pressurised cabin, operable from semi-prepared airfield, as well as low acquisition and maintenance cost.
Upgraded from the previous 14-seater model, the new and modernised Saras PT 1 version will feature 19 seats.
HAL is expected to serve as the production agency for the military version of Saras.