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HAL's Light Utility Helicopter second prototype makes maiden flight

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World Aviation Defense & Security Industry News - HAL
 
 
HAL's Light Utility Helicopter second prototype makes maiden flight
 
India-based aircraft manufacturer HAL carried out first flight of Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)-PT-2 on May 22, 2017 at its facility in Bengaluru. The chopper was flown by Chief Test Pilot Wing Cdr(Retd) Unni K Pillai and Test Pilot Wing Cdr (Retd) Anil Bhambhani. The flight duration was about 22 minutes and pilots reported nil snag.
     
HAL's LUH PT-2 prototype making its maiden flight
(Credit: HAL)
     
These maiden flights of indigenous aircrafts are testimony to HAL’s rapid progress towards ‘Make in India’ campaign both in fixed and rotary wing segments. These prototypes add strength to ongoing test flights to achieve operational clearance cutting the time frame”, said Shri T. Suvarna Raju, CMD-HAL.

The LUH PT2 has modified tail boom and incorporates improvements based on feedback from testing of LUH PT1. The first flight of LUH PT1 was carried out on September 6, 2016 and further envelope expansion flights are in progress. LUH PT-1 made its flight demonstration during the international air show Aero India-2017 held in February 2017.

HAL plans to carry out further flight testing on PT1 & PT2 in the months ahead to freeze the helicopter configuration by end of this year. Senior officials from HAL, representatives from RCMA(H/c), AQA, IAF and Army were present during the flight

HAL's LUH single-engine light helicopter is being built for the Indian Army and Indian Air Force to replace an aged fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters. It is powered by one HAL/Turbomeca Shakti 1U turboshaft engine which gives it a cruise speed of 220 km/h and an operational range of 350 km.