Second HAL Light Utility Helicopter flies
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) flew the second prototype of its Light Utility Helicopter on 22 May. It was airborne for 22 minutes and according to the company’s Chief Test Pilot Wing Cdr (Retd) Unni K Pillai there were ‘nil snags’. Compared to the first prototype, PT1, which flew in September 2016, PT2 has a modified tail boom and incorporates other improvements. HAL hopes for design freeze by year’s end. The LUH is a three-ton class new generation light transport helicopter designed to meet the requirements of both military and civil operators, and is especially suited to high altitude missions. It is powered by a TM/HAL Ardiden 1U/shakti 1U single turboshaft engine and will have a maximum speed of 119kt and a range of 190nm carrying a 400kg payload.
Although wearing military markings here, the LUH is also aimed at the civil market