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.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) took possession of the first indigenous-built Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) on Saturday 17 January. Defence minister Manohar Parrikar handed the aircraft over from state-owned developer and manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to the IAF. Air force pilots will now try and get the fighter airplane ready for Final Operational Clearance (FOC) towards the end of 2015.
It’s the series production SP1 aircraft that is now owned by the air force, two months after its first flight on 1 October 2014. The ceremony took place in the presence of Air Chief Marshal Anup Raha at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bengaluru.
It is believed that over the next three years, 20 Tejas LCAs will be produced to allow the first squadron to be equipped. So far, fifteen test aircraft have been built, aiming which two double seat trainers. The Tejas is an indigenous to replace dozens and dozens of Indian Air Force MiG-21s, but the project faced delay after delay. The go-ahead for the project was given no less than 32 years ago. The latest milestone was the first ‘dry’ ski jump for the carrier version of the Tejas.
Also, if FOC is achieved, the Indian Air Forces still has a lot of desires left, first among which is more a powerful engine than the current GE F404-IN20 engine. A preliminary design review – including the GE F414 engine – has been made for Tejas LCA Mark-II, with a first flight expected no sooner than 2017.
The Indian Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) passed another milestone on Saturday 20 December 2014, as Navy two-seat variant NP-1 took off using the ski jump at Indian naval air station INS Hansa in Goa for the first time. The test should prepare the Tejas for future deployment aboard India’s aircraft carriers.
The navy variant of the Tejas LCA is India’s first indigenous effort to build a carrier borne naval fighter aircraft. It is designed to operate from the future Indigenous aircraft carriers, the Indian Navy plans to acquire. It will use ski-jump for take-off and arrested landing for aircraft carrier operations. The naval LCA uses a drooped nose section for better view and strengthened airframe structure for aircraft-carrier operations.
Aircraft NP-1 was the first the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) at INS Hansa, which was built to simulate real carrier operations. NP-1 flew for the first time on 27 April 2012.
In other Tejas news, the Indian Air Force is set to receive its Tejas at Bangalore in its initial operational clearance (IOC) configuration in March 2015, a mere 32 years after the go-ahead for the LCA program was given. The first IOC standard aircraft performed its first flight in October this year.
The type’s final operational clearance (FOC) seems a long distance away though, as weapons integrations and an air-to-air refueling capability seem to have been delayed.
Still, if FOC is achieved, the Indian Air Forces still has a lot of desires left, first among which is more a powerful engine than the current GE F404-IN20 engine. A preliminary design review – including the GE F414 engine – has been made for Tejas LCA Mark-II, with a first flight expected no sooner than 2017.
It’s one of those aircraft we have to keep reminding ourselves of in the Airheadsfly.com editorial office: the Indian Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). On Saturday 8 November, the 15th produced Tejas got airborne from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Airport in Bengaluru. It was however only the second two seat aircraft ever to do so.
The very first Tejas was seen in the skies over India on 4 January 2001, following over a decade of development that initially also involved Lockheed Martin. Since then, seven single seat Tejas fighter aircraft were produced in a Limited Series Production (LSP). The first two-seater flew on 26 November 2009. According to HAL, the flight of the second Tejas Trainer (known as PV-6) is another step forward towards achieving Final Operational Clearance (FOC).
The first series production version of the Tejas completed its maiden flight in October. The Indian Air Force has so far ordered 20 aircraft.
The first series production version of the of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas completed its maiden flight just before last weekend, HAL confirmed this week.
The Tejas production version flew on 1 October 2014, piloted by Air Commander K.A. Muthana, Chief of Test Flying.
“The aircraft is now ready for Indian Air Force operations”, glad HAL Chairman Tyagi said to the aircraft manufacturer’s engineers, technicians and staff at the factory in Bangalore. “We’ve achieved this 9 months after Intial Operational Clearance Certification in December 2013.”
The Indian government signed a delivery contract for the first 20 LCA Tejas in IOC configuration in 2006.
Amongst the many technological challenges in the making of LCA the biggest were sanctions on the import of carbon fibre, establishing the entire tooling and manufacturing capability by in-house design of tooling and creating test equipment.