The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) HTT 40 basic trainer aircraft (BTA) has completed its inaugural flight at a facility in India.
Designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the aircraft took off from HAL airport in Bengaluru and flew for ten to 15 minutes.
During the flight, the BTA carried out low-speed pass, a series of turns, high-speed pass and short-landing using reverse thrust, which is a unique feature available on this engine-propeller combination, the company said.
The inaugural flight follows the aircraft’s unofficial maiden flight in May this year, high-speed taxi trials, low-speed trials and ground runs.
Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said: "The young team has taken a calculated risk and they have flown the aircraft within one-year and kept their assurance.
"The indigenous content on HTT-40 is close to 80%.
"Almost 50% of the components on HTT-40 are manufactured by private players of the Indian aerospace ecosystem.
"Here, the role of private players and MSMEs has been significant in the production of parts.
"The IAF is positive in all these developments."
HAL, which plans to get the aircraft certified in 2018, will produce three prototypes and two static test specimens.
The company completed the detailed design phase of the aircraft in May last year.
The project includes a digital mock-up (DMU), real-time systems clash analyses, laser tracking of assembly jigs, six degree of freedom, mathematical model and complete glass cockpit, besides many others.
The HTT-40 has been developed to replace the IAF’s ageing HAL HPT-32 Deepak trainers currently in service.
Powered by a Honeywell Garrett turboprop engine, the aircraft can travel at maximum speeds of up to 600kmph.
Weighing 2,800kg and featuring zero-zero ejection seats and multi-function displays, the aircraft can be fitted with a gun, rockets and bombs.
Image: IAF’s HTT 40 basic trainer aircraft taking flight from HAL airport in Bengaluru, India. Photo: courtesy of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).