The first flight of Tejas Limited Series Production (LSP) aircraft, LSP-4 took place at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bangalore airport, today. The aircraft took off at 1110 hrs and landed forty minutes later. In the sortie, the Test Pilot, Gp Capt Suneet Krishna, flew the aircraft to an attitude of 11-kms and went supersonic, touching 1.1 Mach with Test Director, Gp Capt D Chakravorty, guiding him from the telemetry facility of National Flight Test Centre (NFTC). The chase aircraft was flown by the Chief Test Pilot of NFTC, Gp Capt RR Tyagi with Wg Cdr Prabhu as the Test Director. It is a standard operating procedure to have another aircraft chase the aircraft under test. The test flight was supervised by Air Cmde Rohit Varma, the Project Director (Flight Test) at NFTC. The flight was also witnessed by Cmde BS Prahar, who is the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Air) at Naval Headquarters.
For the first time the Tejas flew in the configuration that will be finally delivered to the Indian Air Force. Senior scientists from (Aeronautical Development Agency) ADA, National Aerospace Laboratory, Bangalore and Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) were involved in the development and flight test planning for the newly integrated flight control software which was used by the test aircraft. The senior management of The Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification, Bangalore and HAL were on hand to ensure that all activities went off as per the schedule.
Speaking on the occasion, the Programme Director of ADA, Shri PS Subramanyam said that the Tejas team is now heading to central India to carry out hot weather trials. He expressed confidence that the aircraft would soon be flown by operational pilots of the defence services.