The second prototype of the Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) Light Utility Heicopter (LUH) has conducted its first flight.

The aircraft, LUH PT2, made its maiden sortie on 22 May, eight months after first prototype, PT1, flew in September 2017, says HAL.

The flight occurred at HAL's production centre in Bengaluru and lasted 22 minutes.

The new aircraft has a modified tail boom and other improvments, which were incorporated after analysis of flight tests of PT1.

Flight tests with both aircraft will continue, while HAL hopes to freeze the type's design by the end of 2017.

The LUH is expected to replace two types in service with the Indian military: the Cheetah, which is derived from the Aerospatiale (now Airbus Helicopters) SA 315B, and the Chetak, derived from the Aloutte III.

The LUH has a maximum weight of 3,150kg, says HAL. It is powered with a Safran Ardiden-1U engine. It has a range of 350km, a service ceiling of 6,500m, and can carry six passengers and two flight crew.