HYDERABAD: The CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) showcased the upgraded interiors for the 19 seater indigenously developed SARAS civilian aircraft at the Wings India 2018. SARAS’ model and its cheaper cost of production makes it ideal for the Regional Connectivity Scheme -UDAN, say scientists working on the design.
“These were 14 seats earlier that have now been upgraded to 19, and is in the development stage. It is subject to government approval. Once we get certification, we can sell this technology to aircraft manufacturers who are interested in bringing in low-cost flights under the UDAN scheme,” said Sreedhara H, a senior scientist with CSIR-NAL. The 14 seater SARAS PT1N model aircraft made a successful test flight in February after undergoing major modifications.
The UDAN scheme launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation hopes to improve regional connectivity between airports, and offers a cap on ticket rates. “For a short trip of an hour, a commercial plane spends a lot of time ascending and descending, the jet engines, they gain high speeds at high altitudes. But SARAS, on the other hand, is fuel efficient for short trips,” said Sreedhara.
“More than 70 pc of the SARAS aircraft is made in India, thus it could be cheaper by 20 to 25 per cent as the spare parts and service can be done locally,” he added. “SARAS will be ready for operational clearance in the next three years,” said Jitendra J Jadhav, director, CSIR- NAL. As for the SARAS model being tested, the director said 18 more flights would be conducted in the next four months.
KTR heaps praises on Ashok Gajapathi
Hyderabad: Senior TDP leader P Ashok Gajapathi Raju has something to cheer about when he was appreciated and applauded by an unlikely source. Telangana IT minister KT Rama Rao, who had to get into Ashok Gajapathi Raju’s shoes to inaugurate the ‘Wings India 2018’, a flagship event of aviation sector, was all praise for the outgoing Civil Aviation Minister. “Politics sometimes thrusts upon you responsibilities for which you are not prepared.
Until this morning, till I woke up, I had no clue that Shri Ashok Gajapati Rajuji has put in his papers. As things would have it, I ended up as the chief guest. So I guess, I have to say a few words now,” Rama Rao said at the inaugural event. “Ashok Gajpathi Raju and his team worked to add 50-60 new airports in the last 3 years. That deserves a round of applause from all of us,’’ KTR said.