Maintaining India’s fleet of more than 230 aging Cheetah and Chetak reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters is turning into a nightmare due to unavailability of spares, according to K.C. Nanda, general manager of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd’s Barrackpore Division, who sounded the warning at a defense conference held in Kolkata in August. HAL built both the Cheetah and the Chetak under license from Eurocopter.
Turbomeca TM 333
After nearly two decades, India’s first indigenous rotorcraft is poised for civil certification in that nation this month, with FAA/ JAA approval expected within the year. And as its creators reveal more details of its design, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.’s (HAL) Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) emerges as a capable, cleverly executed design, clearly able to hold its own against any modern design from the West.
There is an insect called a cicada that burrows deep into the earth in its larval stage, slowly, quietly growing out of sight, feeding modestly on tree root sap and finally emerging 17 years later as a formidable form of aphid that, while benign, appears to be anything but.
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.
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.
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.
India’s lack of air force training capacity has taken its toll in high accident rates over the years but the recent selection of the BAE Systems’ Hawk advanced jet trainer marked an important step in reversing this trend. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), headquartered in Bangalore, has brought two examples–one civil production aircraft and a military prototype–of its indigenously designed Dhruv helicopter to show here at Farnborough International.
French turbine helicopter engine manufacturer Turbomeca, coming off a record production year in 2005, is at Heli-Expo’06 working to secure a beachhead in its “American Invasion” program, an effort designed to emphasize increased production capacity and support capabilities at Turbomeca USA.