The second LCA-Tejas prototype in Indian Navy pre-configuration took to the skies on 7 February 2015, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) confirmed on 9 February.
NP2 made its 35 minute flight from the HAL plant in Bangalore, taking off at about 12:27 local time. The aircraft will be especially tested on its landing gear design, which is different from the regular set of wheels of the air force variant.
During the design and construction NP2 has been customized (Plug & Play) to incrementally accept modifications for Carrier Landing aids like the Levcon Air Data Computer, auto-throttle, external and internal angle of attack lights. NP2 is the lead aircraft for arrestor hook integration, Derby Beyond visual Range missile and tactical data link. Arrested landing and ski-jump take-offs will be tested at a shore-based facility in Goa before moving to a carrier at sea.
Captain Shivnath Dahiya, Indian Navy and Natinional Flight Test Centre (NFTC) was the test pilot on the job. Test Director being Gp. Capt Prabhu and the Safety Pilot being Gp. Capt. RR Tyagi were flying chase.
Source: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
Featured image: Take-off for NP2, the second naval variant prototype of the LCA-Tejas (Image © Hindustan Aeronautics Limited)