The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40) has reportedly conducted its maiden flight successfully.
The basic trainer aircraft is being indigenously developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to replace the IAF’s ageing HAL HPT-32 Deepak trainers currently in service, EngineeringNotes.info reported.
During the flight, which lasted for more than 25 minutes, the HAL test pilot did not perform any specific manoeuvres, according to media sources.
The maiden flight follows the aircraft’s high-speed taxi trials, low-speed trials and ground runs. In February this year, HAL rolled-out the first prototype of HTT-40.
The developmental flight trials of the trainer aircraft will be conducted until the end of 2018, according to Flightglobal.
HAL official was quoted by The Times of India as saying: "The evaluation process will now begin and an official inaugural flight based on the information will be planned soon."
The IAF will use the aircraft for basic flying training, aerobatics, instrument flying, navigation, night flying and close formation and can be adapted to serve as a light attack aircraft.
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.
The IAF, which requires 72 HTT-40 aircraft, would place orders for at least 68 aircraft.
Image: HAL HTT-40 model. Photo: courtesy of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).