HAL rolls out HTT-40 aircraft prototype

Bengaluru: Aircraft maker HAL has rolled out the first prototype of HTT-40 with plans to weaponize and optimise the trainer plane. Hindustan Turboprop Trainer (HTT-40) is a tandem seat trainer aircraft being developed at HAL for the first stage training of rookie pilots.

Its role includes basic flying training, aerobatics, instrument flying, navigation, night flying and close formation and it can also be adapted as a light attack aircraft.

The roll-out of prototype took place recently from the equipping facility at Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC) hangar through a remotely operated minicar, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) said.

HAL Chairman and Managing Director T Suvarna Raju said the project has managed to steer through the initial headwinds and now is going full throttle. "There are plans to weaponize and optimize HTT-40 aircraft," he added. The plane is now ready for undertaking ground runs and taxi trials to be followed by its maiden flight, HAL said in a release.

The HTT-40 design was adapted to a final decision on engine selection in May 2015 and the first prototype manufacturing has been completed followed by this roll-out, it said. In November 2015, the Indian Air Force had issued task directive for the design and development of HTT-40.

ARDC also touts HTT-40 as the first-ever prototype to be manufactured completely based on a digital mock-up and also by using laser-tracked jigs and metal tooling at proto phase itself.

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