Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on Thursday undertook a sortie in the basic trainer aircraft HTT-40 in Bengaluru, becoming the first serving Chief of Air Staff to fly in the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited developed aircraft at the prototype stage.
During the sortie he assessed the aircraft's flying characteristics including stall and spin, the HAL said in a statement.
The aircraft took off at 1.20 pm and flew for an hour. Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria was accompanied by HAL's chief test pilot, Group Captain (Retd) KK Venugopal.
"ACM Bhadauria became the first serving Air Chief to fly in HAL developed aircraft at the prototype stage as Chief of Air Force," HAL said.
He expressed his satisfaction with the aircraft performance and appreciated the design, project and flight test teams for having achieved the commendable progress, the statement said.
The project now needs to be speeded up for certification and HAL must target setting up of modern manufacturing facilities with high production rate from the beginning, HAL quoted him as saying.
The HTT-40 has completed all major test points and meets the Preliminary Staff Qualitative Requirements (PSQR) issued by Air Headquarters, the HAL said.
According to the statement, the flying machine has successfully completed stalls, engine relights, inverted flying, acrobatic flying and systems testing.
The Basic Operational clearance and user evaluation trials readiness is expected soon, it added.