Maiden flight of LSP 8
The last aircraft in the limited series production (LSP) programme of the light combat aircraft (LCA)-Tejas (LSP-08) took off on its maiden flight recently from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) airport in Bengaluru. The performance of the aircraft was flawless, said Dr R.K. Tyagi, Chairman, HAL. The aircraft was flown covering a flight envelope at supersonic speeds and at an angle of attack of 20 degrees which is the current maximum limit cleared by design. With this, the initial operation clearance (IOC) for the aircraft can be expected soon.
Air Cmde K.A. Muthana, VSM, Programme Director (Flight Test) piloted the aircraft on its maiden flight.
The aircraft with a build standard akin to the IOC standard underwent series of rigorous checks by the certifying and inspecting agencies during the last fortnight with a few taxy checks to assess the aircraft performance. The flight clearance by the certifying agencies was accorded today for the aircraft after ensuring that all the aircraft systems were functioning satisfactorily on ground.
Till now aircraft normally undergo high speed taxy trials prior to the first flight. However, with the confidence gained by the flight crew and the certifying agencies during the build and ground checks a decision was taken to proceed with first flight without going through a separate high-speed taxy trial.
Aircraft systems related to fuel, environment condition, elec- trical and avionics which had undergone series of modifications based on feedback from earlier aircraft functioned well.