India’s indigenous light transport aircraft SARAS was successfully test flown for a second time on February 21, 2018. The flight took off from HAL’s airport in Bengaluru for a text book flight.
The flight test was commanded by Wing Commander U.P. Singh, Group Captain R.V. Panicker and Group Captain K.P. Bhat of Indian Air Force- Aircraft and System Testing Establishment.
This was the second of the 20 test flights planned for SARAS PT1N, before freezing the production version.
The first successful test was carried out on January 24, 2018.
Highlights of the SARAS Aircraft
• The design and development of the aircraft is being done by CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL).
• The production model design of the aircraft is expected to be ready by June-July 2018.
• NAL has incorporated various design modifications and improvements on the aircraft like 2x1200 ship engines and 104-inch diameter propeller assembles to cater to second segment climb gradient requirements.
• The aircraft also features improved flight control system, rudder area, main wheel and brakes to cater to 7100 kg AUV, indigenously developed stall warning system, etc.
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What led to delay in launching of SARAS?
The project was initially kicked-started by the previous government, however, it was dumped after an accident during test flight in 2009.
Subsequently, no effort was made to revive the project.