India has agreed to serve as the partner country at the ILA2008 show in Berlin from May 27 to June 1. Some 25 Indian companies, including Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and ISRO, the Indian space research organization, plan to exhibit in a 13,000-sq-ft area, in response to German Minister of Defence Dr. Franz Josef Jung’s invitation. HAL plans to display its HJT-36 Sitara jet trainer and Dhruv helicopter.
Safran’s business in India has taken a step forward following the recent maiden flight of Hindustan Aeronautics’ Dhruv helicopter powered by the Ardiden 1H Shakti turboshaft engine produced by the French group’s Turbomeca division. The move bolsters Safran’s long-term expansion plans in India, not only in the defense market but also in the booming civil sector.
Indian-based manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) is making progress toward European certification of its Dhruv light-twin helicopter. A tentative schedule calls for European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification early in 2009. Indian deliveries began in 2002.
Honeywell released its ninth annual turbine-powered civil helicopter purchase outlook yesterday and, according to the 10-page report, the only direction for the helicopter industry is up.
Turbomeca and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will soon be flight testing their codeveloped 1,200-shp Ardiden 1H (or Shakti, under its Indian designation) turboshaft engine, the French partner announced last month. Certification is pegged for this fall, with deliveries to begin shortly thereafter. Initial applications will be upgraded military versions of the twin-turbine HAL Dhruv. The engine made its first ground run in October 2005.
Hindustan Aeronautics claimed new helicopter high-altitude flying records last month, although it remains to be seen whether those records will be certified.
In January the Yelahanka air force base hosted the fifth Aero India show. The event attracted 372 exhibitors, 136 from India and 236 from foreign countries. Few of the more than 60 aircraft at the show were civil helicopters, among them the civilian version of the home-grown Dhruv.
Early last month, Bell sold three 412s to Global Vectra, bringing to 18 the number of helicopters in the fleet of the Mumbai-based aviation firm. Separately, the government of Karnataka has leased an Indian-built HAL Dhruv. Early last month, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy was the first passenger.
While Eurocopter remains the leader in unit sales of civil helicopters, its competitors are honing their products. The company’s management team is well aware of the pressure, as one official recently expressed concern about new competing products from Western manufacturers. He stated that they will soon be as capable as, and less expensive than, Eurocopter’s.
One of the international partners growing in importance for Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) is India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), which is evidenced by the growing number of cooperative programs between the two firms. One of the most well-known examples is the HAL-designed and -built Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH).