BENGALURU : The Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL)-built HTT-40 (Hindustan Turboprop Trainer), a basic trainer aircraft, made its inaugural flight today. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was present on the occasion. The inaugural flight of HTT-40, designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, took place at around 09.15 am at the HAL Airport here.
Meanwhile Parikkar, addressing reporters after the inaugural flight, said the country’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has placed orders for 70 aircraft. It is a matter of pride that it is designed not only to meet the current requirement of the IAF but it also has the provision for role expansion to include weapons for the trainer aircraft.
Praising the young engineering team of HAL, Parikkar said: “The project was in cold storage for many years. The young HAL team, when given encouragement, just took one year to realise it.” Group Capt. (Retd.) Subramaniam, HAL's chief test pilot, flew the Hindustan Turbo Trainer.
HAL CMD T. Suvarna Raju said they are aiming to get the aircraft certified in 2018. It would need three flight prototypes, two static versions and a zest. HAL took up the project in 2013 with a finance of Rs 350 crore. An additional Rs. 200 crore will be needed to build prototypes. The aircraft’s detailed design was launched in August 2013 with HAL’s internal funding. The design phase was completed in May 2015 and from there it has taken HAL a period of 12 months to fly the first prototype.
Welcoming the indigenous content of HTT-40, he said it is close to 80 per cent with about 75 per cent plus systems out of the total 90 on aircraft sourced from local players and sister divisions of HAL. Parikkar said the role of private players and MSMEs has been significant in the production of parts and assembly jigs. Almost 50 per cent of the 4,000 odd components of the aircraft is manufactured by private players of the country’s eco-system.