The second prototype of the Light Utility Helicopter, LUH PT2, has successfully completed its first flight by flying smoothly for 22 minutes in Bengaluru. The second prototype is the improved version of the PT1, which undertook its first flight on September 6, 2016 and later in the Aero India 2017 show in February.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is developing the three-tonne-class LUH as a reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft for military and civili users. HAL is expected to finalize the helicopter’s design by the this year end. After getting necessary certificates the HAL will manufacture the aircraft and its components in its facility coming up in Tumakuru. The aircraft is being manufactured by the HAL as a part of its Make in India campaign in rotary and fixed wing aircraft.
Light Utility Helicopter
LUH is being designed to fly 350 km non stop at a speed of 220 kmph. The aircraft is capable of reaching a maximum height of 6.5 Km and can carry a payload of 400 kg. The engine of LUH is capable of delivering 750 KW of power and will permit flight operations at an altitude as high as 6,500 metres (21, 325 feet) and thus permitting the aircraft to fly to India’s highest posts in Siachen Glacier Sector.
The light utility helicopter (LUH) will replace the obsolescent fleet of Chetak and Cheetah helicopters that have been in use for more than three decades. Apart from military use, LUH is also being developed to capture a sizeable share in both domestic and international market.
HAL’s helicopter division has already designed two successful indigenous programmes- the Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH).