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CSIR-NAL’S MULTI-COPTER DRONES, HANSA-NG AND SARAS MK-II AIRCRAFT
CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore (CSIR-NAL) is participating in Wings India 2022 and showcasing its indigenous initiatives of civil aircraft for flying training & commuter air connectivity.
HANSA–NG Aircraft designed and developed by CSIR-NAL is a major attraction in Wings 2022. HANSA-NG was piloted by Wg. Cdr. Dilip Reddy, an Experimental Test Pilot of IAF. He has demonstrated its flying capabilities like climbing, descending, maneuvering, low-level stability, and short take-off /landing, exciting the viewers.
HANSA-NG is one of the most advanced two-seat flying trainer aircraft powered by Rotax Digital Control Engine with unique features like Just-In-Time Prepreg (JIPREG) Composite lightweight Airframe, Glass Cockpit, Bubble Canopy with wide panoramic view, electrically operated flaps, etc. HANSA NG is capable of flying up to an altitude of 10000ft with a max speed of 200 mph with more than 5 hrs endurance. HANSA –NG completed more than 55 hours of flying and will be type certified by DGCA shortly. NAL has already received more than 80 nos. of Lois (Letter of Intents) from various flying clubs across the country and delivery is scheduled for July 2022.
The spectacular formation flying of multi-copter drones developed by NAL demonstrating live societal applications has caught the attention of many. The unique features of a multi-copter drone are fully autonomous BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of sight) operation capability with the max-payload capability of 20kg with the endurance of about 30 mins. MoCA has given the conditional clearance and more than 60hrs of flying is completed.
NAL showcased the fully loaded 1:1 mock-up of SARASMK2 with glass cockpit, Cabin interiors including toilet, Cargo compartments and other cabin safety features. SARAS-Mk II is a 19 Seat Light Transport Aircraft with multirole capabilities like Passenger transport, Troop transport, VIP transport and Casevac (Air Ambulance). The aircraft is exclusively designed for operations from short runways, hot and high airfields, and semi-prepared runways for connecting Tier 1 & Tier 2 cities / towns. SARAS-MkII is one of the unique aircraft where operational benefits are maximized through the Pressurized Cabin, Digital antiskid braking, Autopilot with Cat-II landing, two lever engine operation, Lightweight materials etc. by keeping cost minimum. Aircraft has capability to fly up to 29000 ft at max speed of 500 kmph with range of 778 km and will be ideal candidate for promoting regional air connectivity under UDAN (UdeDesh ka Nagrik) scheme.
Shri Jitendra Jadhav Director CSIR-NAL stated that the design is carried out with extensive use of digital tools like 3D platforms, virtual reality, advanced CATIA, Digital Mock Up (DMU) and PLM (Project Life Cycle Management) techniques to reduce efforts in design and manufacturing. He further stated that, the flight test efforts are reduced by realizing high fidelity simulator’s & test facilities where most test points can be demonstrated on the ground.
NAL demonstrated functional sub scale model of High Altitude Platforms (HAP) as a futuristic path breaking technology. HAP is a solar-powered UAV capable of day & night operation at a height of 20 km for more than 90 days. HAP will be a game-changer to work as a pseudo satellite for telecommunication applications in the 5G & 6G spectrum with advantages like low data latency, high bandwidth, the flexibility of launch and low cost. HAP will be used for variety of applications like broadband communication, surveillance, earth observation, climate research etc.
The deep technology innovations like intermediate modulus grade carbon fibre, carbon prepreg, special coatings for aerospace applications, Cf-SiC composites, Just-In-time Pre-preg, thermoplastic composites, ARINC 818 IP core, etc., for various aerospace applications towards self-reliance are demonstrated.
In an interaction with the press at Wings India 2022, Dr Shekhar C Mande, Secretary, DSIR & Director General, CSIR said “New Generation aircraft called the HANSA-NG has been developed by incorporating the state-of-the-art technologies and New Generation Design features. It offers advanced digital display systems using certified instruments, two primary flight displays with built in redundant power supply. The indigenous HANSA-NG will benefit Indian Flying Clubs as well as other customer applications like bird reconnaissance at airfields, cadet training, coastal surveillance, and hobby flying. As a result of this, CSIR-NAL received firm commitments for 10 Nos from M/s Belagavi Aviation Pvt Ltd during Wings India 2022. M/s Blue ray aviation has also shown interest in acquiring 3 nos of the aircraft during the Wings India. We thank Indian Air Force Test Pilot Wg. Cdr. Dilip Reddy for his brilliant flight demonstration during the flying display sessions”. The delivery of aircraft is schedules from July 2022 with private / public industry participation.
He mentioned that “Multi-copter drones developed by NAL are being demonstrated in Wings India which are configured for Precision Agriculture, Geo exploration studies and for last mile delivery / medicine/vaccine delivery. The uniqueness of these UAVs are their higher payload capacity and longer endurance which are essential requirements for last-mile delivery, floriculture mapping, geophysical exploration studies (Underground minerals and water exploration), precision agriculture and pesticide spraying to remote places. NAL had demonstrated these capabilities to Govt. authorities all over India. Agreements were signed or Technology Transfer of these multi-copters (Quad, Hexa, Octa) to M/s Scientech Industries Pvt Ltd, Indore, M/s Magic Myna, Coimbatore and M/s C I Network Technologies Pvt Ltd, Ahmedabad during Wings India on 24th March 2022”. These MSME’s will start production in next three months’ time @rate of 100 – 200 drones per month.
DG-CSIR also stated that Armed Forces have already committed 15 Nos of SARAS MK-II for initial induction. The aircraft will be complied to FAR 23 standards and will be certified by DGCA and CEMILAC for Civil and Military use. The first flight is likely to be in June 2024 and the production will be from 2026-27 onwards. The SARAS MK-II will be a game-changer to boost air connectivity under the UDAN scheme. I am glad to state that M/s ICATT Air Ambulance Service has given two Nos of LoI for SARAS MK-II aircraft for medical version offlaying ICU & Operation Theatre. SARAS MK-II will be an ideal platform for ultra-critical flying services which ICATT is a pioneer and is the largest air ambulance service in Asia.
He further stated that the development of HAP is progressing on fast track and the functional subscale model prototype is being demonstrated at Wings India 2022.The subscale model will fly by Aug 2022 to evaluate the aerodynamics, stability control and avionics & autopilot performance. The flight test data will be used to optimize final design and Proof-of-Concept (PoC) of full-scale HAP will be demonstrated at a height of 20km with 2hrs endurance by March 2024. Thereafter the full scale engineering will be taken up by NAL along with industries.
While congratulating the NAL team, he said that NAL is moving rapidly towards the commercialization of aircraft and aerospace technologies for common man use to make India self-reliant under Atmanirbhar Bharat mission of government.