LCA Te­jas achieved yet an­other ac­com­plish­ment


With three con­sec­u­tive start-ups of its en­gine af­ter overnight soak in ex­treme cold (around -15 de­grees Cel­sius) con­di­tions of Lad­dakh win­ter, that too with­out any ex­ter­nal as­sis­tance, Te­jas, the In­dian light com­bat air­craft (LCA) has achieved yet an­other and a rare distinc­tion. Start­ing the fighter air­craft un­der such ex­treme con­di­tion with­out any ex­ter­nal as­sis­tance or heat­ing is a tech­nol­ogy chal­lenge. The re­quire­ments be­come fur­ther strin­gent when the start­ing is to be done three times con­sec­u­tively with a par­tially charged bat­tery. Team LCA led by AERD&C of HAL, and mem­bers from ADA, NFTC, IAF, CEMILAC and DGAQA have suc­ceeded in achiev­ing this. “The team LCA has achieved a tech­no­log­i­cal break­through”, stated Dr P.S. Subra­manyam PGD (CA) & Direc­tor, ADA.

The en­gine starter is de­vel­oped in­dige­nously by HAL Aero En­gine Re­search and De­sign Cen­tre (AERDC), Ben­galuru. Prior to air­craft tests, the Jet Fuel Starter ( JFS) was ex­ten­sively tested on test rig to meet start­ing con­di­tions across the op­er­at­ing al­ti­tudes in­clud­ing Leh (10,700 ft.) and Khardungla (18,300 ft). The con­trol soft­ware of JFS was fine tuned to work at all op­er­at­ing al­ti­tudes with no ad­just­ments from cock­pit. GE-F404-IN20 en­gine start-up con­trol sched­ule was also var­ied with sev­eral con­trol patches to es­tab­lish re­li­able start.

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