HAL Release - Bengaluru, December 17
Soon after flying at 6 KMs altitude recently, the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) project of HAL gathered momentum as the third prototype (PT3) made its maiden flight on December 14, 2018. The chopper was flown by Test Pilots, Wg Cdr (Retd) Anil Bhambhani and Gp. Capt (Retd) M R Anand V M. The flight was flawless and this prototype would augment development flight testing in conjunction with other two Prototypes towards Certification. Based on the feedback from flight testing of PT1 and PT2, PT3 is built to the standard of deliverable configuration.
Shri R Madhavan, CMD-HAL says, with this achievement, LUH is now close to production clearance and HAL is confident of meeting requirements of the Armed Forces.
The successful completion of first flight of third prototype of LUH is a quantum leap and will soon replace the ageing fleet of Cheetah/Chetak, says Shri Arup Chatterjee, Director (Engg., R&D) HAL.
LUH Clears 6 KMs Altitude Flight
On December 10, LUH achieved an important milestone of flying at 6 km altitude here in Bengaluru, recently. The chopper was flown by Chief Test Pilot Wg. Cdr. (Retd) Unni K Pillai and Test Pilot, Wing Cdr (Retd) Anil Bhambhani.
The flight was carried out under the envelope expansion tests and flying at 6 km altitude is a critical requirement towards the certification of LUH. The helicopter exhibited satisfactory performance and handling qualities. With the completion of this milestone, LUH can now undertake high altitude cold weather trials planned in January 2019.
The LUH is a 3-ton class new generation single engine helicopter indigenously designed and developed by Rotary Wing Research and Design Center (RWR&DC) of HAL to replace the ageing Cheetah and Chetak helicopters used by Indian Armed Forces. The helicopter with Glass Cockpit can be deployed for Reconnaissance, Surveillance roles and as a light transport helicopter.
The helicopter will be capable of flying at 220 Kmph, with a service ceiling of 6.5 Km and a range of 350 Km with 400 kg payload. HAL has in principal order for 187 LUH that includes 126 for Indian Army and 61 for IAF.
The LUH is powered by TM/HAL Ardiden 1U/Shakti 1U single turbo shaft engine with sufficient power margins to cater to demanding high altitude missions. First flight of LUH PT-1 was carried on September 6, 2016 and the second Prototype flew on May 22, 2017. High altitude cold weather trials of LUH is planned in January 2019.