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India's light utility helicopter completes hot and high altitude trials in Himalayas

HAL's indigenously developed Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) demonstrated high altitude capability in hot and high weather conditions in the Himalayas for about 10 days. A comprehensive test plan was executed at Leh (3300 metres above mean sea level) in temperatures up to ISA (international standard atmosphere)+320C which included envelope expansion, performance and flying qualities, Bengaluru headquartered HAL ( Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) said.

The LUH took off from Leh and demonstrated its hot and high hover performance at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) at 5000 MAMSL, an HAL statement said on Wednesday.

The helicopter also demonstrated its payload capability in Siachen glacier high altitude. During the trials, pilots landed the helicopter at the highest helipads of Amar and Sonam, it said.


"HAL has once again proved its indigenous capability in design & development", the statement said.

The Army version of LUH is now ready for Initial Operational Clearance, said HAL CMD, R Madhavan.

According to Director (Engineering and R&D), HAL, Arup Chatterjee, the performance of the helicopter and its systems is satisfactory fulfilling the requirements of the users.

All planned tests were successfully demonstrated.

The flights were carried out recently by composite trial team which included pilots from HAL, Wg Cdr (Retd) Unni Pillai, CTP (RW), Wg Cdr (Retd) Anil Bhambani, Gp Capt (Retd) Pupinder Singh and Gp Capt V Panwar along with Gp Capt R Dubey, Sq Ldr Joshi from Indian Air Force and Lt Col R Grewal & Lt Col Pawan from the Indian Army.

Representatives from certification authority witnessed the trials, it was stated.

The Initial Operational Clearance for basic LUH was accorded by CEMILAC (Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification) for IAF variant on February seven, 2020, HAL said.

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