Friday, October 7, 2022

HAL’s Light Utility Helicopter clears high-altitude tests

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Bengaluru: State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) has successfully completed high-altitude capability tests. The trials were carried out by test pilots from HAL, IAF and the Army from August 24 to September 2 in hot and high weather conditions in the Himalayas, HAL said on Thursday.

The LUH has complied with all the requirements of users and with the completion of testing, it is close to operational clearance certification, said HAL CMD R Madhavan.

LUH completes high-altitude tests

All planned tests were successfully demonstrated. A comprehensive test plan was executed at Leh (3,300m) in temperatures upto International Standard Atmosphere (ISA) +32 degree C, which included envelope expansion, performance and flying qualities. The LUH then lifted off from Leh and demonstrated its hot and high hover performance at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) at 5,000m followed by another forward helipad (5500m at ISA +27degree C). “While these extreme weather conditions imposed flight restrictions on all other civil and military aircraft, LUH flights were unhindered as it is designed for such operations,” said a press release.

The helicopter covered the 3,000-km flight from Bengaluru to Leh over a period of three days. During the course of ferrying and trials at high altitude, the chopper revealed high reliability without any service support.

All trials completed between 2018 and 2019

The LUH completed hot weather trials at Nagpur in 2018, cold weather trials at Leh in 2019 (as was reported by PSU Watch), sea level trials at Chennai in 2018 and at Puducherry in 2019.

The composite trials team included designers, flight test crew of HAL, the Indian Air Force and Indian Army. Representatives of CEMILAC and ORDAQA witnessed the trials for military and civil certification requirements, respectively.

The flights were completed by a HAL flight test team led by Wing Commander (Retd) Unni Pillai, CTP(RW) and accompanied by Wing Commander (Retd) Anil Bhambani, Group Captain (Retd) Pupinder Singh, Group Captain V Panwar, Wing Commander A Jena, a representative from the Air Force Group Captain R Dubey and Lieutenant Colonel R Grewal from the Indian Army.

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