The Light Combat Aircraft Tejas successfully completed its maiden engine relight test on Friday -- a critical parameter the programme needs to achieve for the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC). Military sources confirmed to Express that the Limited Series Production (LSP-7) aircraft from the Tejas flight-line, piloted by Gp Capt R R Tyagi, underwent the engine relight test at 1 pm. The LSP-7 was chased by a Hawk aircraft.
“It is a great milestone for a single-engine fighter aircraft. The relight test is the second most critical event for a fighter jet programme, after its maiden flight. The pilot took the flight to a height of 30,000 ft before the relight test, which was performed over the skies of Kolar region,” a source said.
During Friday’s test, the pilot is said to have brought the throttle down to zero for a few seconds, so that the aircraft loses power. The pilot pulled the throttle again, confirming the relight process. Engine relight is done to check the aircraft’s performance in an emergency situation.
A senior airworthiness official said the project is now slowly, but steadily completing the IOC-2 parameters. “So far Tejas has logged over 2,330 flights clocking around 1,350 hours. It is high time we finish IOC-2 and get on with the FOC (Final Operational Clearance) formalities,” the official said.