Indus Aviation expects to deliver its first Thorpedo two-seater this week, after receiving US special light-sport aircraft certification. The all-metal aircraft, an updated version of the 1960s-vintage Thorp T211, is assembled in Dallas, Texas using components manufactured in India by Taneja Aerospace & Aviation.

Owned by Indian-born surgeon Ram Pattisapu, Indus plans to deliver 25-30 Thorpedos by year end and hopes to ramp up production to 100-150 a year. Powered by a 120hp (90kW) Jabiru engine, the aircraft has a base price of $85,000. Indus is also working on the T11 Sky Skooter, powered by an 85hp Jabiru.

A version of the T211 powered by UK company Wilksch Airmotive’s 120hp WAM-120 diesel-cycle engine is expected to be available in two years. “We have already tested the engine in England and an aircraft fitted with this engine has flown has flown for 200h,” says Pattisapu. Additional tests are needed to secure Indian aviation authority DGCA approval of the aircraft, he says.

Indus is aiming the Indian-manufactured, DGCA-certificated version of the T211 at the county’s emerging private and training aircraft markets, and the company’s Bangalore-based subsidiary intends to set up six flight academies across the country. In addition, Indus has plans to develop a four-seat aircraft.

India’s National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), meanwhile, is planning to develop a four-seat version of its Hansa all-composite training aircraft, now in limited service with Indian flying schools. The four-seater will be aimed at the international market.

Graham Warwick/Washington DC

Additonal reporting by Radhakrishna Rao

Source: Flight International