Full Details Of LCA Navy 1st Ski-Jump Flight

FULL OFFICIAL STATEMENT: It was a defining moment when LCA (Navy) Prototype 1 (NP1), the first indigenously designed and developed 4th plus generation combat aircraft designed to operate  from the decks of air-craft carriers, took-off majestically from Ski-Jump facility of Shore Based Test Facility at INS Hansa in Goa at about 12:34 PM today the 20th December 2014.
Piloted by Commodore Jaideep Maolankar, the Chief Test Pilot of National Flight Test Centre, the aircraft had a perfect flight with results matching the predicted ones to the letter. The launch was orchestrated by the Test Director Cdr J D Raturi and Safety Pilot Capt Shivnath Dahiya supported by Gp Capt Anoop Kabadwal, Gp Capt RR Tyagi and Lt Cdr Vivek Pandey. The readiness and availability of aircraft for the event was made possible through the relentless effort of HAL, ARDC under the aegis of Mr P S Roy the Executive Director.
Dr Avinash Chander, SA to RM, Secretary DDR&D DG DRDO congratulated the LCA Navy program team and said, “With today’s copybook flight of LCA-Navy from the land based ski-jump facility we see our own indigenous combat aircrafts soon flying from the decks of our aircraft carriers.” Congratulating the team Dr Tamilmani, DS & DG Aeronautics, said “A complex task of Ski Jump of NP1 Executed beautifully”.
LCA (Navy) is designed with stronger landing gears to absorb forces exerted by the ski jump ramp during take-off, to be airborne within 200 m as against 1000m required for normal runways. It’s special flight control law mode allows hands-free take-off relieving the pilot workload, as the aircraft leaps from the ramp and automatically puts the aircraft in an ascending trajectory. The maiden successful, picture perfect launch of NP1 from ski jump at Shore Based Test Facility at Goa is a testimony to the tremendous efforts put in by scientists and engineers to design the Naval aircraft, its simulator (that helps pilots to know well in advance how the aircraft will behave on ski jump) and the flight test team that timed the whole event to near perfection. It can be stated with conviction “The indigenous Indian Naval Carrier Borne Aviation program has been launched, literally from the Ski-Jump”.
The LCA Navy program team of ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency) is jubilant on achieving the remarkable feat that is the culmination of several years of design, flight test, simulation and management effort with significant contributions from a number of DRDO laboratories. The teams were ably supported by the certification agency, CEMILAC and the quality assurance agency, CRI (LCA). INS Hansa, the Naval Air Station played the perfect host to achieve this significant milestone. The design teams guided by Program Director ADA Shri P S Subramanyam have ensured that all systems meet the stringent requirements of Carrier borne aircraft. Cmde C D Balaji (Retd) as Project Director LCA (Navy) and it’s Chief Designer has been at the helm of affairs right from the concept phase. The team led by Dr Amitabh Saraf indigenously achieved the flight control laws that take care of the problems encountered by a fly by wire aircraft undertaking a Ski Jump Launch.
The Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) has been created to replicate the aircraft carrier with a Ski Jump for take-off and arresting gear cable for arrested landing; by ADA with the participation of the Indian Navy, Goa shipyard, CCE (R&D) West, Pune, R&D Engg (E) Pune and the Russian agencies providing the design support and specialized equipment.

7 thoughts on “Full Details Of LCA Navy 1st Ski-Jump Flight”

  1. NSR says —

    India must produce a lot of them and also station them in many Naval Bases / Stations armed with latest anti-ship and anti-submarine missiles / torpedoes …

    A ship can't travel fast but Navy Tejas I can be there in minutes…

    It will act as a great deterrent to Pakistan and China trying to intrude into Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea…

    Whenever needed, they can be available to land and conduct sorties from there…

    These fighters only costs $30 millions per plane so India must hurry and build many for Navy and Air Force…

    Air Force should not base them in Sulur, Tamilnadu…They should build at least 6 squadrons of Tejas I and place them from Rajasthan to Arunachal Pradesh…

    It is very cheap to scramble them than the 2 engine fighter bombers…

    Unless Dassault comes clean with respect to TOT and MOTs, product quality responsibility, schedule of delivery, etc, then do not buy it as it will siphon the money away from much needed SU-30MKI, Mig-29, Tejas I& II, Jaguar engine upgrade, etc

    Go on war footing to manufacture and block upgrade so that when Tejas II comes up all this process will be there and there will be no delays due to lessons learned…

    Indigenize the components as much as possible…Import if needed to develop the product instead of delaying or stopping the production…

    If given priority, it will create India's aerospace industry which is boon to India..

  2. As part of Carrier Compatibility Tests (CCT), first step was to do the ski jump launch. Arrested recovery tests will be carried out later.

    The greatest challenge was the control law design to handle the ski jump launch in a 'hands free' mode of an 'unstable' delta wing aircraft

  3. I feel it is adamant on part of LCA desiegn team and ignore to modify the air intakes as that is and would hamper the thrust of LCA.if they don't change then LCA would be like a asthmatic long distance runner who would not finish his race.

    They should put front canards as that would improve the performance of LCA considerably.

    They have to develop a fully computerized assembly line where the plane can be quickly built and as the structure is completed be transferred to adjoining shades by tractors where the avionics and final build up must take place.

    There has to be a project coordinator who is an instrumentation guy with management skills.

    There has to be a technology park and every component be built then and there so that there is uninterrupted supply line to feed for continuous non stop production.

    The prototype for LCA MK2 be built on a computerized assembly line and quickly built atleast 4 to 6 prototypes and quickly test ti and start a full scale production.

    Buying this expensive Rafale would end the future of IAF as they would not be able to come out and have enough numbers on Tarmak.

    Try to built every component of SU30 MKI so that its servicibility be improved and atleast 80-85 percent of fleet is ready and thus another 100 planes bbe added to active status.

    Start designing twin engined MCA which is larger LCA with two engines and let it be like YF 23 with delta wings which would be cheaper and easy to develop as
    With the experience with LCA.

    Try to develop passive stealth with nano particle films in the composites and radar absorbing paints to add passive stealth and use active jammers to increase its lethality.
    If this changes are not implimented then pretty much LCA would end up like MARUT and the future of IAF is sealed to a very limited Air Force.
    I know shiv would not publish this comment for which I don't care but the message is loud and clear few arrogant guys ruined this great project and killed this prospective great plane.
    I loved planes and that's what I did all my life and that's why I feel hurt for the demise of great effort.
    The team has to learn from Grippen E which is fill it , load it , shut it and fly again and again with least possible wait.

    Thanks if you publish it.

    My last post


  4. Air intake in the second Naval prototype has been modified. It has a number of auxiliary air intake doors that gives a thrust boost for carrier takeoff. Air intake of LCANavyMk2 is completely being redone.

  5. Impressive. I am always a fan of the Tejas. The 2 seat version looks more "right" than the single seat. The US F/A18E/F 2 seat also has better transonic aerodynamics than the single seat due to better area ruling. I wonder if it is the same for Tejas.
    I always believe that India should put all its money into indigeneous programs, Tejas being one, and drop the Rafale. Although a capable aircraft, it is too late, sitting on the fence of technology change.
    A future full composite Tejas with thrust vectoring to eliminate the tail will be very stealthy. One could enlarge, lengthen a future Tejas to use the 45000lb F35 engine and incorporate integral weapon bays. These have been proven decades ago with the F16XL.
    Armed with AAM like Meteor, I doubt a Rafale would be better.

  6. Indian navy is very pragmatic and have taken the responsibility of developing the Naval LCA and even sponsored the development from its own funds. If the air intakes are modified my hats off to you commander Balaji.You would succeed and if the project succeeds try developing Delta winged YF23 which would be easy to develop with internal weapons bay and would be the main strike platform for navy. My best wishes for the same. YF 23 in my opinion is perhaps the best plane ever designed and we were upset when it was not selected.

    Thanks ,


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