After being grounded for close to three years, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) HJT-36 Sitara intermediate jet trainer has again taken to the skies in a test flight at the company’s Bengaluru facilities, albeit with some critical modifications, reports Livefist.
The flight has been successful and went without any hiccups. Designed for the stage-II training of Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots, the trainer aircraft was grounded in 2016 after facing some issues during spin test flights.
HAL continued its R&D efforts and undertook modification of IJT LSP4 aircraft based on extensive and comprehensive wind tunnel studies,” stated HAL’s chief managing director R Madhavan.
The new modifications which were carried out on the trainer were implemented by HAL’s research, design and technical teams.
The HJT-36 Sitara is expected to replace the IAF’s existing HAL HJT-16 Kiran trainers; the successful flight test of the modified version is a definite positive step in that direction.