Achieving yet another significant milestone, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) conducted a technical flight of indigenous Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) in Bengaluru, on September 6. The helicopter lifted at 1210 hours and was in the air for 15 minutes at HAL facilities. The flawless flight was carried out by HAL test pilots.
This event marks an important and significant beginning for prototype testing of LUH. This is the third indigenous helicopter product from the stables of HAL after Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). Apart from replacement of ageing fleet of Cheetah / Chetak, Light Utility Helicopter is expected to capture a sizeable share both in domestic and international market.
The LUH has a maximum All-Up-Weight (AUW) of 6,944.5 lbs/3,150 kg, fitted with Safran HE Ardiden-1U engine of 750 kW/1,006 hp power, with a range of 217.5 miles/350 km, service ceiling 21,325.5 feet/6,500 m, seating capacity of six passengers plus two pilots.
The helicopter is designed to carry out various utility roles such as reconnaissance, transport, cargo load Search and Rescue (SAR) operations. The helicopter can operate from sea level to high altitudes of Himalayas.