Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
BANGALORE: Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots will officially get a taste of home-grown Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas with the 12th aircraft from the project flight-line and the seventh from the limited series production (LSP-7) block set to kiss the skies soon. Sources told Express that the crucial engine ground run (EGR) was over and the fighter was now being put on low-speed taxi trials (LSTT). “We will do the LSTT before October 24 and the high-speed taxi trials (HSTT) after that. Finally, we will do the nose-up trial leading to the first flight,” sources said. The aircraft is expected to do the LSTT at 150 kmph and the HSTT at 250 kmph.
Though the LSP-7 was scheduled to fly in August, the project hit an air pocket when fuel leak was noticed in one of the aircraft during taxiing. “We had to ground the entire Tejas fleet as safety was our top-most priority. We lost the months of May, June, July and August with not much of testing happening,” sources said.