The LUH completed hot weather trials at Nagpur in 2018, cold weather trials at Leh in 2019 and sea level trials at Chennai in 2018 and at Puducherry in 2019.

Indias light utility helicopter clears high altitude tests in the Himalayas
news Defence Thursday, September 05, 2019 - 18:05

The prototype of the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) designed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) on Thursday cleared the all-weather tests. The tests were held to demonstrate high-altitude capabilities of the helicopter in hot and cold conditions over the Himalayas recently, HAL said in a statement on Thursday.

"The LUH has complied with all the requirements of the users, including high-altitude testing in hot and cold conditions over the Himalayas for operational clearance certification," said HAL Chairman R Madhavan in the statement.

The Bengaluru-based HAL’s flight test team led by Wing Commanders (retired) Unni Pillai, Anil Bhambani and A Jena and Group Captains (retired) Pupinder Singh and V Panwar conducted the tests over 10 days starting August 24.

Indian Air Force (IAF) Group Captain R Dubey and Lieutenant Colonel R Grewal of the Indian Army also conducted aerial trials.

"A test plan was executed at Leh (3,300 metres above the ground level) in minus 32 degree Celsius as per the International Standard Atmosphere (ISA) for envelope expansion, performance and flying qualities," Madhavan added.

The helicopter took off from Leh in Ladakh on August 24 and tests for hover performance were held at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) at 5,000 metres followed by another sortie from the forward helipad at 5,500 metres above ground level.

"Though the extreme weather conditions have imposed flight restrictions on all other civil and military aircraft, LUH flights were unhindered as it is designed for such operations," Madhavan said. The chopper covered a distance of 3,000 km between Bengaluru and Leh for three days with transit stop-overs at various civil and military airfields.

"The LUH showed high reliability without service support during its ferry to Leh and trials at high altitude," Madhavan added. The composite trials team included designers, the flight test crew of HAL, IAF and the Army.

Representatives of the Indian military and civil aviation regulators from the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) and the Office of Regional Director of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (ORDAQA) were present during the trials for the required certifications. The LUH completed hot weather trials at Nagpur in 2018, cold weather trials at Leh in 2019 and sea level trials at Chennai in 2018 and at Puducherry in 2019.

 

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