Bangalore-based engineering consultancy Quest Global has been signed up to the design and development team behind India's bid to develop a home-grown regional transport aircraft.
The 70-seat Regional Transport Aircraft RTA-70 twin-turboprop is being developed under the leadership of India's National Aerospace Laboratories, with production by Hindustan Aeronautics. NAL is so far unable to say when detailed design will be completed, but the plan at present is for initial production of around 400 aircraft, with half going to India's armed forces.
NAL is focused on Indian market demands, which it says are not met by existing turboprops, including improved fuel efficiency, short landing and take-off capability, and the ability to transport cargo. This will give the aircraft 25% lower acquisition costs, 25% lower operating costs and 50% lower maintenance costs than existing turboprop regional aircraft, says NAL.
NAL is eyeing a composite airframe, "next-generation turboprop engines", fly-by-wire control system, open distributed modular avionics, automatic dependence surveillance - broadcast navigation capabilities and advanced displays.