AERO INDIA: Mahindra Aerospace readies five-seat utility aircraft for roll-out

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India's Mahindra Aerospace is planning to roll out its first aircraft in March to exploit the country's increasing hunger for business and general aviation.

The five-seat piston aircraft, dubbed the NM-150, will be targeted at charter and corporate operators, medical evacuation providers and owner-flyers. Hemant Luthra, president of Mahindra's parent company Mahindra & Mahindra, says the aircraft will have a glass cockpit and electronic flight instrumentation system.

The aircraft - co-developed by Bangalore's National Aerospace Laboratories - will also be targeted at Australia, where Mahindra has already secured a foothold by acquiring a majority stake in aerospace components company Aerostaff and utility aircraft manufacturer Gippsland Aeronautics.

Mahindra's intention is to become "globally recognised as a manufacturer of cost-effective, efficient, robust utility aircraft", it says.