Tejas NP-1 cleared for first flight
EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE
The naval variant (NP-1) of India’s Light Combat Aircraft is ready. Having missed many deadlines like its air force avatar – Tejas, sources now confirm to Express that the Flight Readiness Review Board (FRRB) has cleared NP-1 for first flight. Rolled out on July 6, 2010 amidst cinematic settings and blessed by defence minister A K Antony, the NP-1 ran into a spate of technological challenges. As this piece goes live, the total systems onboard NP-1 have completed fault-free tests on Iron Bird – ahead of the possible maiden flight.
Sources say that the platform has so far completed four low-speed taxi trials (LSTT) and one high-speed taxi trial (HSTT). “On Thursday, the NP-1 did an HSTT at 220 kmph, lifting the nose-wheel. We are now hoping to have the first flight next week,” sources at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) said. While some crucial parts of NP-1 gave nightmares to both designers and engineers, including the bulky undercarriage, sources now confirm that the defects have been rectified.
The NP-1 will be put through another HSTT next week before the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and HAL combine take a final call on the first flight. “Everything is in place and our engineers and technicians are leaving no stone unturned ahead of the first flight. We had some software snags which have been rectified at the right time,” HAL sources said.Share this: Twitter | StumbleUpon | Facebook | Delicious | digg | reddit | buzz
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