Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has undertaken the maiden flight of the Hindustan Turbo Trainer 40 (HTT-40) basic trainer.

The HTT-40 took to the air for its first flight on the morning of Tuesday 31 May, successfully completing a 30-minute flight before landing back at HAL’s Bengaluru airfield.

The maiden flight clears the way for commencement of developmental flight trials of the indigenously developed basic trainer. These will run until the end of 2018.

Three prototypes and two static-test examples will be built by HAL.

Certification and delivery of the first aircraft to the air force is slated to take place in 2019. The IAF is expected to place orders for at least 68 HTT-40s.

Plans call for delivery of two HTT-40s to the air force in the first year of production, followed by eight in the second year, increasing to 11 aircraft by year three. Thereafter, production will rise to 20 aircraft annually.

HAL will develop an armed variant that will carry unguided rockets, dumb bombs and a gun pod, intended for use in low intensity conflicts.

The HTT-40 will feature a full glass cockpit with a 6” and 5” smart multi-function display and is powered by a Honeywell TPE331-12B turboprop engine.

The air force has a stated requirement for 181 basic trainers and contracted Swiss airframer Pilatus in May 2012 for 75 PC-7 MKIIs. The first aircraft was delivered by Pilatus in February 2013 and the last of 75 aircraft was delivered in November 2015.

India will obtain 38 additional PC-7 Mk II aircraft after the Defence Acquisition Council approved the execution of options included in the original contract.

The air force performs basic flight training (Stage 1) and intermediate flight training (Stage 2) on PC-7s, while advanced training is imparted on the BAE Systems Hawk Mk 132 advanced jet trainer.

Source: FlightGlobal.com