HAL’s Light Utility Helicopter Clears Tests At An Altitude Of 16000 ft
In a major step for Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd’s Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), a prototype has just completed high altitude flight trials at the world’s highest landing ground — Daulat Beg Olde in northern Ladakh.
In a statement today HAL said, “All planned tests were successfully demonstrated. A comprehensive test plan was executed at Leh (3300m) in temperatures upto International Standard Atmosphere (ISA) +32 degree C which included envelope expansion, performance and flying qualities.
The LUH then lifted off from Leh and demonstrated its hot and high hover performance at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) at 5000m followed by another forward helipad (5500m at ISA +27degree C).
The trials were carried out by HAL, Army and IAF test pilots from August 24 to September 2. The crucial high altitude capability demonstration is indispensable to Indian rotorcraft requirements, since large numbers are deployed in Ladakh and the north-east to supply forward posts along the borders.
“The LUH has complied with all the requirements of the users and with the completion of hot and high altitude testing, it is close to operational clearance certification,” said HAL chairman R Madhavan today.
The LUH involved in the Ladakh trials hopped from Bengaluru, its home, to Leh over a period of three days. stopping at several civil and military airfields along the way.
The flights were completed by an HAL flight test team led by Wg Cdr (Retd) Unni Pillai, CTP(RW) and accompanied by Wg Cdr (Retd) Anil Bhambani, Gp Capt (Retd) Pupinder Singh, Gp Capt V Panwar, Wg Cdr A Jena, a representative from the Air Force Gp Capt R Dubey and Lt Col R Grewal from the Indian Army.
The LUH is being developed to meet a requirement of 187 helicopters for the Indian Air Force and Indian Army.