Mahindra-NAL NM5-100 to begin certification flights in Q4

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Mahindra Aerospace and National Aerospace Laboratories' NM5-100 five-seat turboprop could commence certification flights in Australia in the fourth quarter of 2011.

A demonstrator model of the aircraft, jointly developed with Indian government-owned NAL, is ready, said Arvind Mehra, executive director and chief executive of Mahindra Aerospace. A second aircraft, to be used for certification in India, is expected to be ready by mid-2012.

The Australian flights will take place near the Melbourne facilities of Mahindra unit GippsAero.

The NM5 is unique, said Mehra, because it is India's first indigenous aircraft developed by a joint public/private partnership.

 © Siva Govindasamy/Flightglobal

The NM5 is powered by a Lycoming IO-540 K1A5 engine and has a range of 1,296km (700nm) with a 320kg payload.

Mehra said key attributes of the aircraft include new-generation seats, large doors, multiple seating configurations, and a reconfigurable rear cabin with a flat floor. He said the aircraft is targeted at a number of roles, including cargo, charters, air taxi, casualty evacuation (casevac), and personal use.