LCH makes maiden flight with indigenous control system

Bengaluru (Karnataka): Giving further thrust to the ‘Make in India’ initiative, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) carried out the first flight of Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) (Technology Demonstrator-2) with its own designed and developed Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) for the first time in the country.

“The maiden flight was ‘flawless’ and flew for 20 minutes with the engagement of the system throughout. Also, Wing Commander (Retired) Unni K Pillai, Chief Test Pilot and Group Captain (Retired) Rajesh Verma, Test Pilot were at the controls of LCH,” Hindustan Aeronautics Limited said in a statement on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, HAL Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) T Suvarna Raju said “The development of indigenous AFCS is a HAL funded project and would replace the high value imported system. The AFCS is a digital four-axis flight control system capable of performing control and stability augmentation function and auto-pilot modes of helicopters.”

“The indigenous development of the Hardware, Software and Control Law is a fully in-house effort of HAL Research and Development Centres – Rotary-Wing Research and Design Centre (RWR&DC) and Mission and Combat System R&D Centre (MCSRDC) at Bengaluru, Strategic Electronic Research Design Centre (SLRDC) at Hyderabad and Korwa Division,” he added.

HAL further noted that it has already indigenised the Cockpit Display System on LCH, namely Integrated Architecture Display System (IADS) with the participation of Indian private industries and that development flight testing was under progress.

The Initial Operational Clearance for LCH was given on August 26, 2017, in the presence of the Union Defence Minister.

Representatives from certification agencies and senior officers from HAL were present during the event. (ANI)