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HAL’s light utility chopper crosses first hurdle

PW Bureau

With the completion of this milestone, LUH can now undertake high altitude cold weather trials planned in January 2019 Bengaluru: The Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) achieved an important milestone by flying at 6 km altitude here in Bengaluru. The chopper was flown by Chief Test Pilot Wing Commander (Retd) Unni K Pillai and Test Pilot, Wing Commander (Retd) Anil Bhambhani. The flight was carried out under the envelope expansion tests and flying at 6 km altitude is a critical requirement towards the certification of LUH. The helicopter exhibited satisfactory performance and handling qualities.

The LUH is a three-ton class new generation helicopter designed and developed by Rotary Wing Research and Design Centre (RWR&DC) of HAL to replace the ageing Cheetah and Chetak helicopters used by Indian Armed Forces.

With the completion of this milestone, LUH can now undertake high altitude cold weather trials planned in January 2019, a statement released by government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) said. The LUH is a three-ton class new generation helicopter designed and developed by Rotary Wing Research and Design Centre (RWR&DC) of HAL to replace the ageing Cheetah and Chetak helicopters used by Indian Armed Forces. First flight of LUH PT-1 was carried on September 6, 2016 and the second Prototype flew on May 22, 2017. HAL has in principal order for 187 LUH, that includes 126 for Indian Army and 61 for IAF. The LUH is being indigenously developed by HAL to meet the requirements of both military and civil operators. The helicopter with Glass Cockpit can be deployed for Reconnaissance, Surveillance roles and as a light transport helicopter. The helicopter will be capable of flying at 220 Kmph, with a service ceiling of 6.5 Km and a range of 350 Km with 400 kg payload. The LUH is powered by TM/HAL Ardiden 1U/Shakti 1U single turboshaft engine with sufficient power margins to cater to demanding high altitude missions.