Monday, February 14, 2011

India To Get First Public/Private Partnership Aircraft

Aviation Week

Feb 11, 2011

Mahindra Aerospace, in partnership with National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), has become the first public/private partnership to jointly design, develop and manufacture the five-seat aircraft—NM-5.

One of the two prototypes under development is set to test fly in May or June. The aircraft is expected to be certified a year after it takes flight by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, says Arvind Mehra, executive director and CEO of Mahindra Aerospace.

Mahindra is also setting up a $285 million facility in Bengaluru at the recently announced aerospace park.
The Lycoming 10-340 engine of the NM-5 is the same as the Airvan GA-8 of the GippsAero company Mahindra acquired in Australia.

“We also plan to bring back the 18-seater twin turboprop in production, expected to be in production in three years,” said Mehra.

The GA-8 with short take-off and landings, will be useful when flying to remote areas. In Australia, it was used during the Queensland floods. In India it can be used by medical services, tour operators and cargo operators. “We plan to offer this in place of helicopters for remote regions,” says Mehra.

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