Maiden flight of indigenous UAV

April 5th, 2009 - 10:08 pm ICT by ANI  

Kolar (Karnataka), April 5 (ANI): With the successful flight of Nishant, the indigenous unmanned air vehicle (UAV), a new chapter has been added in the annals of Indian Aviation.

It was witnessed at Veerapura, a small village, eight kilometres from Kolar in Karnataka, where from the abandoned runway of World War II vintage, the indigenous Nishant, jointly designed and developed by National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), a Council of Industrial and Scientific Research (CSIR) lab, Vehicles Research and Development Establishment VRDE (VRDE), Ahmednagar and Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), Bangalore, took off.

The flight took off at 1157 hours in the morning of March 31 and climbed to an altitude of 1.8 kilometres effortlessly before cruising for a duration of 35 mts.

The air vehicle was recovered safely at the intended place in dried up Muduvadi lake after a total flight duration of 40 mts.

The event was witnessed by key personnel, P.S. Krishnan, Director ADE, Dr C.L. Dhamejani, Director VRDE and Dr. AR Upadhya, Director NAL, Regional Director RCMA and Regional Director, AQA and other senior officers.

The Wankel engine is first of its kind totally designed and developed in the country. Today, very few countries in the world have the capability to develop and master this technology.

The provisional flight clearance for the first indigenous prototype engine was given by the certifying agency, RCMA in a short ceremony held at the launch pad. The engine was cleared for flight after a rigorous ground and endurance test run.

The engine weighs about 30 kgs and is known for its high power to Weight ratio in single rotor category. The engine performed very well in flight while meeting all the requirements of the Air Vehicle.

It’s an indigenous engine and is expected to replace the present imported engine of Nishant.

The engine has a power of 55 hp and can also be used for powering smaller air vehicles, automotive, Out Board Motors, and Industrial applications.

The event signifies an achievement in many ways, as it is for the first time that a wankel engine has been developed within the country and a UAV has been flown with an indigenous engine. It is planned to use this developed technology for future application for the Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV)’s under development in ADE, Bangalore.

NISHANT is a reconnaissance UAV which has completed its user trials with Indian Army and is in the verge of handing over few of these air vehicles to Indian Army very shortly. (ANI)

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