The first Technology Demonstrator (TD-1) of India’s Light Combat Helicopter (LCH)
conducted an extended hover and slow-speed cyclic manoeuver routine yesterday at a height of a little over 20 metres. Everything went beautifully. TD-1 is not weaponised, and will be put through its full flight routines without a single weapon on board. Yesterday’s flight was a confidence-building one in the run up to a formal first flight. Sources say there will be several such “confidence building” flights in the run up to the inaugural first flight in April. Wing Commander Unni Pillai piloted the LCH flight yesterday.
Sources confirmed to LiveFist, “Everything went beautifully. It was not a rigorous test, just to get the platform airborne and see how she held up in the air. Everything went fine. A degree of weight issues have been sorted out, but there is still some work to be done. That will be sorted out with TD-2 and TD-3. Now the focus is to validate the design and ensure it is a perfectly capable flying machine, which we of course know it is.”
HAL has decided not to put out photos of videos of the flight, though it was , of course, photographed and videographed. Let’s see what can be done!