India conducts test flight of Naval version of indigenous light combat aircraft

India conducts test flight of Naval version of indigenous light combat aircraft

NetIndian News Network

Panaji, December 20, 2014

India today successfully carried out a test flight of the Naval version of indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA) (Navy) Prototype 1 (NP1) in Goa.
The 4th plus generation aircraft, designed to operate from the decks of aircraft carriers, took from the ski-jump facility of the shore based test facility at INS Hansa in Goa at about 1234 hours today.
Piloted by Commodore Jaideep Maolankar, the Chief Test Pilot of National Flight Test Centre, the aircraft had a perfect flight with results as predicted.
The launch was orchestrated by Test Director Cdr J D Raturi and Safety Pilot Capt Shivnath Dahiya supported by Gp Capt Anoop Kabadwal, Gp Capt R R Tyagi and Lt Cdr Vivek Pandey. 
"The readiness and availability of aircraft for the event was made possible through the relentless effort of HAL, ARDC under the aegis of Mr P S Roy, the Executive Director," an official press release said.
Dr Avinash Chander, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and Director General of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), congratulated the LCA-Navy programme team.
"With today's copybook flight of LCA-Navy from the land based ski-jump facility we seeour own indigenous combat aircrafts soon flying from the decks of our aircraft carriers," he said.
Congratulating the team, Dr Tamilmani, DS & DG Aeronautics, said “A complex task of Ski Jump of NP1 Executed beautifully."
The release said LCA (Navy) is designed with stronger landing gears to absorb forces exerted by the ski jump ramp during take-off to be airborne within 200 m as against 1000m required for normal runways. 
"Its special flight control law mode allows hands-free take-off relieving the pilot workload, as the aircraft leaps from the ramp and automatically puts the aircraft in an ascending trajectory. The maiden successful, picture perfect launch of NP1 from ski jump at Shore Based Test Facility at Goa is a testimony to the tremendous efforts put in by scientists and engineers to design the Naval aircraft, its simulator (that helps pilots to know well in advance how the aircraft will behave on ski jump) and the flight test team that timed the whole event to near perfection," it said.
The release said today's feat was the culmination of several years of design, flight test, simulation and management effort with significant contributions from a number of DRDO laboratories.
The teams were ably supported by the certification agency, CEMILAC and the quality assurance agency, CRI (LCA). INS Hansa, the Naval Air Station played the perfect host to achieve this significant milestone. 
The design teams guided by Program Director ADA P S Subramanyam have ensured that all systems meet the stringent requirements of carrier borne aircraft. 
Cmde C D Balaji (Retd) as Project Director LCA (Navy) and its Chief Designer has been at the helm of affairs right from the concept phase. The team led by Dr Amitabh Saraf indigenously achieved the flight control laws that take care of the problems encountered by a fly by wire aircraft undertaking a ski jump launch.
The Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) has been created to replicate the aircraft carrier with a ski jump for take-off and arresting gear cable for arrested landing; by ADA with the participation of the Indian Navy, Goa shipyard, CCE (R&D) West, Pune, R&D Engg (E) Pune and the Russian agencies providing the design support and specialized equipment.