The first engine ground run (EGR) of aircraft NP1 was conducted at the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) complex on Sept. 26 with the primary objective of checking aircraft-to-engine integration. In addition, flight control, hydraulics, fuel systems, electrical and avionics systems were evaluated, a DRDO official says.
The official says the next step will be a taxi run of the aircraft, after which it should be ready for flight trials by the end of this year or early next year.
“The aircraft will now go through a phase of refinements based on feedback identified during the course of the build up and also observed during the EGR, followed by a series of final integration checks and taxi trials before its maiden flight shortly,” the DRDO official says.
The team steering the project includes the Indian navy, air force, HAL, DRDO, the Center for Military Airworthiness and Certification, the Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance, educational institutions, and other public and private-sector partners.
Meanwhile, the first flight of the maritime reconnaissance P-8I aircraft will be performed soon. Based on the Boeing 737-800, it was developed by the American aircraft maker and is being assembled at the company’s facility in Renton, Wash. The aircraft, a variant of the U.S. Navy’s P-8A Poseidon, will be the first of eight units ordered and is scheduled to enter service in 2013. India is the only export customer for the aircraft so far.