Photos 1& 2: LCA LSP-4 before and during the maiden flight. Photo 3: Grp Capt Suneet Krishna of NFTC. Photos: ADA & t-arch-2010
By Anantha Krishnan M. | Aviation Week
Bangalore, India | June 02, 2010
The fourth limited series production (LSP-4) platform of India’s light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas had its successful first flight at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s military airport in Bangalore on June 2. The flight, piloted by Group Capt. Suneet Krishna of the National Flight Test Center (NFTC), lasted 40 minutes. The pilot went supersonic and later recovered the full flight envelope, exhibiting confidence in the system.
Vice Chief of IAF Air Marshal P.K. Barbora told AVIATION WEEK that the first flight of LSP-4 is “one step forward” in the project. “As you move along in a program, you will overcome problems quickly. Now the LSP-5, 6 and 7 will come,” he said. “It’s a proud moment and we are also keenly awaiting the arrival of LCA Mk-II in the years to come, which will be an advanced platform.” Program Director (Combat Aircraft) and Director, Aeronautics Development Agency (ADA) P.S. Subramanyam told AVIATION WEEK that the project is moving toward IOC. HAL Chairman Ashok Nayak told AVIATION WEEK that the successful flights of LSP-3 and LSP-4 in quick succession are an indication of the accelerated pace at which the program is now being run.
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