Indian LUH Completes Hot and High-Altitude Trials in Himalayas

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BENGALURU (BANGALORE):  Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s indigenously developed Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) demonstrated its high altitude capability in Hot and High weather conditions in the Himalayas recently for about 10 days.

A comprehensive test plan was executed at Leh (3300 metres above mean sea level or MAMSL) in temperatures up to ISA+32 degree C which included envelope expansion, performance and flying qualities.  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, the company said.

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. Bengaluru-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is a state-owned aerospace and defence company governed by the Defence Ministry.

According to Arup Chatterjee, Director (Engineering and R&D), HAL, the performance of the helicopter and its systems are satisfactory fulfilling the requirements of the users. All planned tests were successfully demonstrated. The Army version of LUH is now ready for Initial Operational Clearance. The Initial Operational Clearance for basic LUH was accorded by CEMILAC for IAF variant on February 7, 2020. 

The flights were carried out 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  Indian Army). Representatives from certification authority witnessed the trials, a statement said. –shp/iz/mgm