is studying the possibility of designing and manufacturing a 50- to 90-seat
passenger aircraft, with the country’s main aerospace research agency hoping to
secure funding from the Government for the programme shortly.
just begun the initial research and there’s still a very long way to go before
this comes to fruition. We have not sought funding from the Government yet,”
says Kota Harinarayanan, who is leading the study at the National Aerospace
baseline aircraft would be a 70-seat turboprop, with 50- and 90-seat variants
also on the cards, he says. These would be fuel-efficient aircraft that can be
used on short-haul routes, he adds.
aircraft is being pitched against the likes of ATR in the regional transport
market, according to Indian media reports. NAL is seeking $75 million in
funding from its parent agency, the Council of Scientific and Industrial
Research (CSIR). It plans to work with private companies in the research and
marketing, but details remain sketchy.
to some estimates, there will be a demand for around 5,000 65- to 90-seat
aircraft in the next 20 years. While Bombardier, Embraer and ATR have
traditionally dominated this market, their hold is being challenged by
newcomers from China, Russia
that are developing their own regional jets.
Aviation Industry Corp I is building the 90-seat ARJ21, which is expected to be
in service in the second half of 2009. Russia’s
Sukhoi is developing its SuperJet, while Japan’s
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries announced in March that it would develop a
Mitsubishi Regional Jet by 2013.