By Anantha Krishnan M
Bengaluru, May 25: Military minds propelling India’s naval fighter jet programme from Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) had a successful ‘Moon-lit Mission’ at INS Hansa (Goa) recently.
Officials who are part of the ongoing maiden night trials of naval Light Combat Aircraft (NLCA), at the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) in Goa, told Mathrubhumi on Wednesday that the maiden night flight of NP-2 (Naval Prototype), a fighter, was planned on a Full Moon Day.
“The first night sortie for NLCA was carried out on May 21 from the normal runway on a Full Moon Day. The Moon was shining at its best on the day when the pilot was tasked to evaluate the cockpit performance. The first night ski-jump from SBTF was carried out the next day (May 22),” an official said.
For Test Pilots world over, the Moon plays a key role during their practice night sorties, a fact well-researched and documented by Institute of Aerospace Medicine, a key wing of Indian Air Force, situated in Bengaluru.
“Night flying is a different ball game all together. And, especially for a naval platform it becomes really critical considering the challenging environment, when operating from a carrier. Light is a critical component during flight operations in night for a fighter. The pilot need to adapt to different facets of light and darkness,” says the official. Mathrubhumi
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Full report here: http://bit.ly/20zrtWK