20 December 2014
LCA (Navy) Prototype 1 (NP1), the first indigenously designed and developed 4th plus generation combat aircraft designed to operate from the decks of air-craft carriers, took-off majestically from Ski-Jump facility of Shore Based Test Facility at INS Hansa in Goa. Piloted by Commodore JaideepMaolankar, the Chief Test Pilot of National Flight Test Centre, the aircraft had a perfect flight with results matching the predicted ones to the letter.
The readiness and availability of aircraft for the event was made possible through the relentless effort of HAL, ARDC under the aegis of Mr P S Roy the Executive Director.
LCA (Navy) is designed with stronger landing gears to absorb forces exerted by the ski jump ramp during take-off, to be airborne within 200 m as against 1000m required for normal runways. It’s special flight control law mode allows hands-free take-off relieving the pilot workload, as the aircraft leaps from the ramp and automatically puts the aircraft in an ascending trajectory. The maiden successful, picture perfect launch of NP1 from ski jump at Shore Based Test Facility at Goa is a testimony to the tremendous efforts put in by scientists and engineers to design the Naval aircraft, its simulator (that helps pilots to know well in advance how the aircraft will behave on ski jump) and the flight test team that timed the whole event to near perfection.
Cmde C D Balaji (Retd) as Project Director LCA (Navy) and it’s Chief Designer has been at the helm of affairs right from the concept phase.