Light Transport Aircraft Current Affairs

Light transport aircraft SARAS successfully completes second test-flight

India’s indigenous developed light transport aircraft SARAS PT1N has successfully completed second test-flight. It was the second of the 20 test flights planned for SARAS PT1N, before it is frozen to production version.  The first successful test was carried out in January 2017. Indian Air Force (IAF) has committed to induct 15 aircrafts initially.

SARAS PT1N

SARAS PT1N is first Indian multi-purpose civilian aircraft in light transport aircraft category as designed by the CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL). ts development is seen as culmination of efforts of CSIR-NAL, IAF-ASTE, Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC), HAL and Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA).

SARAS PT1N upgraded version of envisioned Saras aircraft programme aircraft. It is 14-seater and the production version aircraft will have 19-seat capacity. It weighs 7-tonne and has been designed to travel at 425 km/h. It has maximum continuous flight time of around five hours.

The upgraded version of plane is equipped with more modern avionics system, improved radar, linear wing flap actuator, engine flap actuators, environment control, better flight control system, larger metallic rudder for enhanced control, redesigned landing-gear actuators,brand-new brake system, and fire resistant design for aircraft’s nacelle.

Background

The aircraft programme is named after Indian crane Saras. It was first conceptualised in 1990s to establish short-haul civil aviation market. The original design of plane included maximum take-off weight of 6,100kg and a maximum payload of 1,232kg.

The first prototype of the plane had made its first flight in May 2004. SARAS PT1N is upgraded version of plane, after second prototype of SARAS that had crashed during test flight killing all three crew members on board in March 2009.

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