In news- Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) carried out a successful ground run and low speed taxi trials of a Hindustan-228 for ‘Type Certification’ by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
About Hindustan-228(or Do-228)-
- It is the 19-seater a small civil transport aircraft.
- It is the first major attempt in India to develop a small civil transport aircraft after the 14-seater Saras aircraft development program at the National Aeronautics Laboratory was shelved in 2009 on account of multiple problems in its development.
- The Hindustan-228 aircraft is built on the existing frame of the German Dornier 228 defence transport aircraft used by the defence forces.
- Two civil Do-228 produced by HAL for launch under UDAN scheme have a maximum take off weight of 6200 kgs.
- In order for the transport aircraft to be flyable under Commercial Pilot License category HAL has to reduce the aircraft weight below 5700 Kgs.
- It is equipped with a digital cockpit which will ensure more accurate readings, precise information and ergonomic data displays with feedback loops and capability for self-check to alert pilots in emergencies.
- It can be utilized by civil operators and state governments for intra and inter-state connectivity with training, maintenance and logistics support from HAL.
- DGCA ‘the type certification’ will enable HAL to get an international certification for the aircraft.
- Two civil demonstrators of Do-228 have already been made and are ready to be deployed in the North East and Uttar Pradesh, the two places where we want to start the UDAN scheme.
Current status of Hindustan 228
- The Do-228 fulfilled the requirement of a Light Transport Aircraft (LTA) within the defence forces.
- HAL has produced a total of 125 Dornier 228 under license at Kanpur since 1983.
- On December 26, 2017 the DGCA cleared HAL Do-228 to be used for civilian flights.
- On May 27, the first ground run of the first prototype of the aircraft was carried out.
- On August 15 ground trials and low speed taxi trials of the aircraft were carried out for type certification by the DGCA.
- With a maximum cruise speed of 428 kmph and a range of 700 kmph the aircraft is capable of night flying.
Status of Saras civilian aircraft project(1990s)-
- The National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) was asked by the GoI in 2017 to revive development of its 14-seater Saras Mk2 aircraft under the UDAN scheme – after the project was halted in 2009 following a major crash which killed three test pilots.
- The second prototype of the Saras had flown 45 times and had even been presented at Aero India 2009 – a few days before it crashed.
- The Saras – a 14-seater twin turboprop aircraft aimed at serving the maturing civil aviation market in India was initiated in the 1990s but was constantly plagued by controversies.
- The first prototype of the Saras which flew on May 29, 2004 was nearly 993 kg over weight on a proposed 4125 kg. The aircraft flew nearly 125 flights.