Site news 22.02.2011
The presentation of HJT-36, a single-engine jet trainer of the Indian Air Force was made in the frame of the international aviation and space salon AeroIndia that took place from 8 to 13 February 2011 in Bangalore (the Republic of India). The HJT-36 aircraft designed and manufactured independently by the Indian industry was presented to the general public and dubbed “the pride” of the Indian Air Force.
The Russian NPO Saturn developed the AL-55I engine powering the HJT-36 trainer.
- The airplane looks beautiful when you see it fly, - shares his impressions brought from the show Yuri Shmotin, general designer of NPO Saturn. – The HJT-36 flew every single day at AeroIndia. During the inauguration of the show, as part of the parade by the Indian Air Force, we saw a paired flight of two HJT-36 trainers – the development aircraft equipped with AL-55I № 10 and the first serially produced aircraft equipped with AL-55I № 11. In the days of the show that followed, two times a day the development aircraft performed amazing aerial aerobatics figures. Including rather complicated ones, such as the “loop”, “inverted flight”, “barrel-roll”, “spiral into the sky” and it’s worth noting that the engine performed brilliantly! Each demonstration flight was preceded by the announcer’s speech: “And now we present to you the pride of the Indian Air Force – the HJT-36 aircraft!” The presentation of HJT-36 to the international public is a great event for India, and for Russia as well since we have designed the engine for this aircraft”.
As a reminder, the AL-55I engine was designed and developed on the order of HAL (Hindustan Aeronautic Ltd., India) in the frame of the implementation of an international contract signed with FSUC Rosoboronexport on 29.06.2005. NPO Saturn had emerged as the first Russian company winning an order for a full-scale development of an aircraft engine for the needs of a foreign state.
The AL-55I engine development program used the best experience accumulated by the Moscow and Rybinsk design bureaus of NPO Saturn and by a few other design and production companies in Russia. All the research and development works with regard to organizing the production of AL-55I and setting up a licensed production in India were carried out by NPO Saturn in cooperation with UMPO on a parity basis.
AL-55I is derived from the basic AL-55 core and is a bypass two-shaft jet engine fitted with a flow mixer and unregulated convergent jet nozzle. The AL-55 family engines have a strong competitive edge over similar-class engines by having low specific fuel consumption and operating costs.
The main R&D activities on the AL-55I were completed in August 2010. As an integral part of the development aircraft, the AL-55I engine successfully passed the certification flight test program which resulted in signing a joint report between NPO Saturn, HAL corporation and the Indian certification authority regarding successful certification completion.
In parallel with its R&D contract NPO Saturn is working on the contract of ensuring the installed life for the AL-55I engine equaling 300 hours. This work needs to be completed by the end of this year.
At this moment the HJT-36 program is going through the aircraft certification stage for which the Russian party has provided 9 AL-55I engines. In order to provide technical assistance to the HAL specialists during the engine operation in India, a group of NPO Saturn engineers is working towards that end.
The certification flight tests of the HJT-36 aircraft will have to demonstrate full compliance of the newly developed aircraft with all the effective requirements of the Indian Air Force that has already placed an order for its production. The goal of serial production of the HJT-36 trainer is to provide the divisions of the Indian Air Force with this type of aircraft. Serial production of AL-55I is planned in India with a gradual increase of the Indian party’s participation in the manufacturing of the engine and its components.
AL-55I is the first engine in the AL-55 engine family, having according to Yuri Shmotin, far-going commercial prospects: “We look with optimism at the realization of the AL-55 program. The unified AL-55 core allows us to create a whole family of gas-turbine engines of different thrust range including the modifications fitted with a vectored thrust nozzle and afterburner”.