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Light Transport Aircraft "Saras" Completes Second Test Flight Successfully

Published on February 22, 2018
India's indigenously built light transport aircraft Saras completed its second test flight successfully in Bengaluru.  Wing Commander U P Singh, Group Captain R V Panicker and Group Captain K P Bhat of the Indian Air Force commanded the test flight from HAL airport. This test flight is second of the 20 test flights planned for Saras PT1N before being frozen for production.

Key Features

  • It is designed and developed by the CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories and will be 20-25% cheaper than the other imported aircraft in the same category.
  • The seating capacity will be for 19 persons and it will cost around 40 to 45 crore
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will produce the military versions of Saras while the civil version will be produced by identified private industries.
  • Saras Mk2 is considered ideal commuter for central government's UDAAN scheme a variety of applications like air taxi, aerial search and survey, executive transport, disaster management, border patrol, coast guard, ambulance and other community services

What is Saras?

  • It is named after Indian crane Saras
  • It is an indigenous aircraft developed by the National Aeronautics Laboratories (NAL), which is overseen by the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR).
  • The plane is capable of executing both day and night missions. It can be used for transporting civilians, freight, and in remote sensing exercises. 
  • It can take off and land from semi-prepared airfields and even on grass runways. 
  • The aircraft has been designed to travel at 425 km/h and it has a maximum continuous flight time of around five hours. The Indian Air Force has expressed interest in acquiring at least 15 aircraft, while CSIR-NAL is pushing for at least 50.
  • The revised version of the plane is equipped with a more modern avionics system, improved radar, linear wing flap actuator, environment control, engine flap actuators, better flight control system, a larger metallic rudder for enhanced control, redesigned landing-gear actuators, a brand-new brake system, and a fire resistant design for the aircraft’s nacelle.
  • In its first high-speed taxi trial earlier this month, the aircraft was the in the air for about 40 minutes and reached an altitude of 8,500 ft and touched 269 km/h. 

Expected Questions
Saras aircraft has been named after which of the following birds?
a. Hornbill
b. Crane
c. Ibis
d. Francolin

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