HAL resumes tests of jet trainer

An Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) taking off at the inauguration ceremony in Bangalore | F   | Photo Credit: Sampath Kumar G.P

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) on Thursday said it has resumed test-flying its intermediate jet trainer (IJT) in a modified version after a gap of almost three years.

The first renewed test from its Bengaluru facilities on Wednesday was “flawless”, a statement said: “Its success is an important step [in] the IJT programme.”

HAL had halted flight tests of the IJT in 2016 after the aircraft encountered problems while undergoing critical spin tests. Meanwhile, in-house research, design and technical teams modified the aircraft, which has been produced in a limited series.

“HAL continued its R&D efforts and undertook modification of IJT LSP4 aircraft based on extensive and comprehensive wind tunnel studies,” HAL Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) R. Madhavan was quoted as saying.

The trainer aircraft, called the HJT-36, is being developed as the second-level trainer for new pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy.

The beginners start with a basic trainer (now the Swiss-made Pilatus) and then move on to the more complex Hawk advanced jet trainer (AJT) before they take up flying fighters or transport planes for the Forces. The IJT is aimed at easing this transition.

Taken up in 1999, the IJT programme has produced two IJT prototypes. The plane flew for the first time in March 2003. The IAF alone is reported to need 85 intermediate trainers.

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 8:03:43 PM |

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