LCH completes cold trials

The Light Combat Helicopter that is under development has completed the mandatory cold weather trials at Air Force Station, Leh. Its performance has been satisfactory, its developer Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd said on Monday.

The second technology demonstrator prototype LCH TD2 was taken from Bangalore to Leh and tested for its performance in extreme cold weather as part of its overall assessment.

HAL Chairman T.Suvarna Raju said the engine starts were satisfactory at temperature of minus 18 degrees Celsius at 4.1 km. Flights were also carried out to assess the helicopter's high altitude performance and low speed handling. The trials covered engine starts with internal batteries after overnight cold soak at altitudes of 3 km and 4.1 km.

Pilots from the customers Air Force and Army were involved as also representatives of certifying agencies the RCMA and DGAQA.

So far, three prototypes have flown so far and the fourth prototype is being built to speed up the trials for certification process.

Mr. Raju said, "The Light Combat Helicopter Technology Demonstrator TD-3 made its maiden flight in November last year and the TD-4 is likely to fly soon. The IOC [initial operational clearance] is expected in the later part of this year. To achieve this we are concentrating on building more prototypes and increasing the number of flights to reduce the lead time.”

The just concluded Aero India 2015 had an LCH doing the flying display and another on static display.

The 5.5-tonne-class LCH is a take-off of the Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv. It is powered by two Shakti engines. The first LCH prototype made its maiden flight in May 2010, followed by second prototype in June 2011 and the third in November 2014.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 6:06:24 PM |

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