Tejas takes to the sky for the first time

The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Limited Series Production–7 made its maiden flight on Friday and a delighted team Tejas said all the mission parameters were satisfactory.

During the test flight, performance of the aircraft systems including Multi-mode Radar (MMR), Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS), Auto-pilot and Instrument Landing System (ILS) were tested to be satisfactory.

The aircraft took off from the HAL airport at 4:27 pm and had a 28-minute flight. This test flight is significant for the programme, as LSP-7 build standard is close to the initial operational clearance (IOC) standard.

For it will be the LSP-7 and LSP-8 aircraft that will be offered to the Indian Air Force (IAF) for user evaluation trials (UET).

“The flight was also significant considering the fact that for the first time Production Test Schedule was used for the first flight of a LSP aircraft in this programme,” DRDO said in a press release.

This is also the first time maiden flight of a prototype was not accompanied by the customary ‘chase’ aircraft, which is an indicator to the level of confidence in the machine.

Group Captain K K Venugopal was at the controls in the cockpit while Wing Commander Kabadwal of the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC) was Test Director in the telemetry.

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