HAL Completes Hot & High Trials of LCH
HAL successfully carried out the hot and the high-altitude trials of indigenously designed, developed attack chopper Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) at Leh recently. “These seasonal trials – including cold weather trials carried out at Leh during February this year – have been completed as part of the certification process. The flight trials at Leh have established hover performance and low speed handling characteristics of the helicopter under extreme weather conditions at different altitudes (3200 to 4800 m). During the trials, the helicopter and systems performed satisfactorily. LCH also has proven its capability to land and take off at Forward Landing Base in Siachen. LCH is the first attack helicopter to land in Forward Bases at Siachen”, says Mr.T. Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL.
The trials were carried out on the third prototype of LCH (TD3) at Leh at the temperatures ranging from 13 to 27 degree centigrade with the participation of user pilots from Air Force, Army and representatives from CEMILAC and DGAQA. Various tests included assessment and validation of flight envelope in ‘Hot-and-High’ conditions, culminating in landing at forward bases at geographic elevations of 13,600 feet to 15,800 feet. These landings and take-offs were demonstrated with reasonable amount of weapon load and fuel.
Challenges at Leh:
The upper reaches of the Indus river and its tributaries, Nubra and Shyok are home to the mighty Ladakh and Eastern Karakorum Ranges, with multiple lofty peaks over 25,000 feet and an average ridgeline elevation of 20,000 feet. It is also home to the largest glaciated area outside the Polar Regions and is sometimes called the ‘Third Pole’. The Siachen is the largest glacier here and is central to this region. The area experiences a period of summer during July-August in which temperatures soar to 30 degrees above standard atmosphere conditions. This mix of extreme altitudes and relatively high temperatures (‘Hot-and-High’) saps helicopter performance and as such, a few types of helicopters are able to operate effectively all year around.
With the extensive trials carried out on three prototypes at Bengaluru, sea level at Chennai in November 2013, cold weather at Leh during January/February 2015, hot weather at Jodhpur in July 2015 and hot and high altitude trials at a few days ago at Leh, the performance and handling qualities of the helicopter have been established for basic configuration (with EO Pod, Rocket launchers, Turret Gun and Air-to-Air missile launchers). The system functionalities have been assessed and found satisfactory during the trials and long-duration ferry across India. Further development activities are under progress and the weapon firing trials are planned during in the middle of 2016.
The advantage of indigenous development of helicopters such as ALH, LCH and LUH at HAL is that the users’ requirement are well captured right from early design stage and are fine-tuned as the project progresses with the involvement of users so that the product complies to the stringent operational requirements at high altitudes (Himalayan and North Eastern terrains)
Tried to save as many pics as I could from ImageShack's betrayal on teh interwebz and AirGopher's bad habit of hotlinking pics instead of attaching them. All posts with hotlinked and broken links edited/removed accordingly.
Also saved a couple of Jemiba's drawings but could not save the others. Jens, if you're still here could you plz re-upload them?
Piccies of the 2001 layout...
My source is the pakistanidefence site.
-LCH prototype first flight.
Vince Johnson - A merciless enemy but a powerful ally.
LCH TD-2 makes a silent maiden flight; platform incorporates lots of new features
The second technology demonstrator (TD-2) of India’s Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) took to the skies for the first time on June 28 in Bangalore.
"On June 28, the pilots did some very limited manoeuvres, though not much was experimented. The maiden flight was limited to low-speed testing. They (pilots) will now take the platform and fly over the runway to check the endurance and eventually will expand the full envelope. The designers, engineers and pilots are all delighted by this significant development,” the official said.
“The pilots (Unni Pillai & Hari Nair) have given some observations and we are working on the same. These are development flights and we will address all the teething problems that arise,” the official added
Meanwhile, an insider said that LCH TD-2 boasts of lots of new features as compared to TD-1. “Lots of new systems are onboard. The platform is lighter and we have modified the gearbox. Even the tail-rotor control system is different. The doors for the pilots have been modified for better structural clearance. The ****pit remains the same and we are constantly modifying the chopper based on the inputs from the pilots,” she said.
She also added that the TD-1 has completed 70 hours of flying so far and the TD-3 will be very closer to the production version, incorporating some more changes. “Any new project is a huge challenge for us. With so much stigma attached to the Helicopter Division in the past, we are happy that LCH is gifting us some inspiring moments now. This is years of hard work and we are all happy that finally things are moving,” she said.
When asked why HAL chose to be silent on the first flight of LCH TD-2, an insider said: "We are used to it now." HAL's chopper complex in-charge P.S. Rajan was not available for any comment.
The LCH TD-2 was the main draw at Aero India 2011 wrapped in digital camouflage paint -- a technology mastered by India recently. Incidentally, LCH will be the first Indian Air Force asset to don this new paint scheme.
Three cheers to all engineers, designers, test pilots and youngsters associated with LCH programme! Good job by teams lead by Srinath, Sampath and Unni!
A Naval Source close to idrw.org has indicated that Navy is closely observing development of Light combat helicopter currently under development by State run Hindustan aeronautics limited (HAL).Source also mentioned that currently Navy is not actually thinking of Inducting any LCH in its fleet , but initial success in the project ,has made Navy take notice of the project , but there are sceptical if a Marine variant can be developed based on it . Air force and Indian army both put together have a current order of more than 150 of this locally developed Light attack helicopter.Navy is the only armed force in India, which has rejected induction of Naval version of ALH also known has Dhruv due HAL’s inability to fix problems of excess vibration and Rotor blade folding issues in its Naval Variant of Dhruv .Sources also informed that Navy has officially not shown any interest in the project, but is observant on LCH , Defence expert Rajesh Sharma believes that Marine or Naval Variant can be used from amphibious assault ship and also for coastal surveillance , specially for action against pirates ,but then again according to him Indian Army and Indian air force will be inducting close to 700 new helicopters in between them in next decade or so , Navy been the smallest Helicopter fleet operator of the three armed forces , it might be just curiosity of not to be left behind .
-airfoil- wrote:Cool! What program do you use to make these?
Cool! What program do you use to make these?
Still old-fashioned CorelDraw and XaraX, old dogs don't learn new tricks !
Made those drawings for vertiflite, the AHS magazine, which features an Indian Special in the recent spring issue. But prints are quite small there, so they show up better here.
very big development on the airframe
Keep Low. Move Fast. First Kill. Die LastOne Shot. One Kill. No Luck. Pure Skill.
Much thanks for posting these great drawings, Jens!
The evolution of the LCH, the mock-up from 2007 in colour and the
LCH, as it appeared during its first flight:
-- Edited by Jemiba on Thursday 14th of April 2011 07:12:18 PM
-- Edited by Stingray on Sunday 13th of March 2011 11:33:11 PM
-airfoil- wrote:Production version or another prototype?
Production version or another prototype?
Lack of the proposed fairngs suggest a prototype.
supermaneuvarable wrote:Makes sense especially since the aircraft is almost ready for service, just need to fulfil some more little military requirements.
Makes sense especially since the aircraft is almost ready for service, just need to fulfil some more little military requirements.
Or just general flight requirements. The poor thing would suffer from drag from exposed fixed landing gear, so the fairings should give it more agility.