Newdelhi:21/8/18: India’s indigenous light transport aircraft SARAS has been successfully test flown for a second time today. The flight commanded by Wing Commander U.P. Singh, Group Captain R.V. Panicker and Group Captain K.P. Bhat of Indian Air Force- Aircraft and System Testing Establishment, took off from HAL’s airport in Bengaluru for a text book flight.
This was the second of the 20 test flights planned for SARAS PT1N, before freezing the production version. The first successful test was carried out on January 24, this year. The design and development of the aircraft is being done by CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, NAL. According to NAL, the production model design is expected to be ready by June-July this year.
Congratulating the CSIR-NAL scientists and the commanders of Indian Air Force – Aircraft and System Testing Establishment, Science & Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said, the flight commanders deserve special appreciation, for their courage to fly an aircraft, which was rejected earlier. Minister announced commendation award for the Commandant and the test crew of ASTE.
“The project was dumped by the previous government, after an accident during test flight in 2009. Though the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, DGCA had exonerated the aircraft from any design flaw or poor-quality production, no effort was made to revive the project,” said Dr Harsh Vardhan, who was present during the second test flight today. “The credit for reviving the indigenous project goes to the present government headed by Narendra Modiji, who had given a thrust to ‘Make in India’ mission. It is the culmination of joint team efforts of ASTE, DGAQA, CEMILAC and HAL”, the minister said.
After the project was revived by the present government, NAL has incorporated design modifications and improvements on the SARAS PT 1 model, like 2×1200 shp engines and 104-inch diameter propeller assembles to cater to second segment climb gradient requirements, improved flight control system, rudder area, main wheel and brakes to cater to 7100 kg AUV, indigenously developed stall warning system, etc.