India’s HAL HTT 40 turboprop trainer aircraft has begun the most awaited phase of the spin tests by successfully entering in to two turn spin and subsequently recovering with the appropriate controls.
Two test pilots undertook the first ever spin entry testing at around 1.30 pm on Nov. 9, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the manufacturer of the aircraft, said in a statement.
The aircraft was piloted by Gp Capt (Retd) KK Venugopal, DGM-Test Pilot from front cock pit and Gp Capt S Chaki (Retd), Sr. Test Pilot from rear. The stall testing had already been completed and the project galloped its way to spin tests.
HAL Chairman R. Madhavan said that the successful start of the spin testing gives a boost to HAL and also restores credibility of HAL in successfully designing a spin worthy aircraft.
The spin testing is the most crucial and challenging aspect of flight testing of any aircraft development programme. HAL’s Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC) had conducted extensive wind tunnel testing and mathematical model analysis to arrive at the spin characteristics of the aircraft. The entire study is put to test during those first few moments of spin testing.
According Mr. Arup Chatterjee, Director (Engg and R&D) the Preliminary Services Qualitative Requirements (PSQR) test points have been met and the spin completion is the last metric which needs to be accomplished before the aircraft enters service.
The project started its detail design in August 2013 with internal funding and quickly made its way to the spin tests in matter of five years. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved procurement of 70 Basic Trainer Aircraft from HAL.
Production clearance for HTT 40 is expected to be accorded by the end of this year. The aircraft will replace the Indian Air Force’s retired HPT-32 Deepak as a basic trainer.