Saras

From Academic Kids

Saras is the first Indian multi-purpose civilian aircraft in the Light Transport Aircraft category designed by the National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) with cooperation from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Saras is named after the Indian Saras Crane.

The total cost of the project was Rs 139 crores (Rs 1,390,000,000, about US $30 million). The project took off in 1991 as a collaboration (Myasishchev Duet-Saras) with Russia, financial trouble lead the Russians to drop out early in the program. The project almost came to a halt when it was badly hit by the sanctions imposed by the US in 1998 after the Indian nuclear tests in Pokhran.

Contents

Specifications


Maximum Altitude7500 m
Maximum Speed550 km/h
EnduranceSix hours
Maximum Range400 km
Passenger Seats14
Length and Height15 m and 5 m respectively (approx.)
Wing-span15 m (approx.)
Maximum Take-off weight6100 kg
Propulsion2x PT-6A (Pratt & Whitney)



Unique Features

Saras uses the 'Pusher' propeller configuration. Only a few aircraft (Piaggio Avanti,Beech Starship) have made use of this configuration.

First Flight

Saras (PT-1) completed its maiden flight at the HAL airport in Bangalore on May 29 2004, the flight duration was around 20 minutes during which the prototype flew up to altitudes of 2000 m.

Problems

Saras prototype which took to skies was overweight by around 900 kg. This may lead to reduction in payload expected to be carried.

Future Development

The initial certification plan will include the two prototypes (second expected to fly in 2005) to be flown by the Airborne Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) for a total period of 500 hours before certification from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The aircraft was on flying display at the 2005 Aero India airshow.

A extended version of Saras is also planned. Commercial production of the aircraft is expected by 2008.

External Links

  1. Saras Home page (http://www.cmmacs.ernet.in/nal/pages/saraspg/sarashm.htm)
  2. Saras Bundle (http://www.cmmacs.ernet.in/nal/pages/sarasbundle.htm)
  3. A Soaring Success (http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2113/stories/20040702002408900.htm)Template:Aero-stub
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