HTT-40 all set for first flight, weather-permitting
Bengaluru: A young team of engineers and designers from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) are praying for clear weather on Tuesday (May 31) morning so that their pet metal bird could kiss the sky for the first time.
The Hindustan Turbo Trainer (HTT-40) is scheduled for its first flight between 8 am and 9 am. HAL officially is mum on the first flight, considering there will be an ‘official flight’ later in the presence of ‘biggies’ from Delhi.
Insiders in HAL say that Group Capt Subramaniam (Retd), Chief Test Pilot, HAL, will take the yet-to-be-named BTA (Basic Trainer Aircraft) on its maiden sortie over the Bengaluru skies.
It has been overcast in Bengaluru during the last couple of days and the weathermen are predicting ‘scattered thunderstorms’ on Tuesday morning.
Pre-flight tests done in record time
But the weather worries have not dampened the spirit of Team HAL, which created a record of sort by conducting a few pre-flight parameters within three days.
The Flight Readiness Review Board (FRRB), the low-speed taxi trials (LSTT) and the high-speed taxi trials (HSTT) were all done in three days.
“She will fly on Tuesday morning, God-willing. And, with that will start a new chapter of reclaiming HAL’s dominance in developing basic trainers,” said an official who is overseeing the project. The HTT-40 project is fully funded by HAL.
HAL Chairman T Suvarna Raju’s FTY (freedom-to-youngsters) experiment is paying rich dividends now. Youngsters are increasingly given the mandate to take charge, in many key areas.
Interestingly, a photograph of HTT-40 carrying out HSTT at the HAL Airport clearly shows the platform ‘being airborne’ at 95 knots of speed.
“Yes. She was airborne for a while, but we can’t call that as a flight,” says the official.
The certifying agencies are said to be confident in clearing the platform for its first flight. However, a final decision will be taken only on Tuesday morning after HAL hands over the aircraft to the certifying teams.
“We have kept a group alarm at 3 am so that to be at the hangar at 4 am,” says a team member of HTT-40.