Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mahindra's maiden aircraft makes successful test-flight

The Mahindra Group on Wednesday said it has completed successfully the test-flight of its maiden aircraft NM5, which was developed in collaboration with the Government-run National Aeronautical Laboratories (NAL).

The five-seater all-metal aircraft, powered by a Lycoming IO-540 engine, completed a 45-minute flight on September 1, Mahindra Aerospace said in a release here.

"It gives us great pride to see our first indigenous effort, the NM5, complete its maiden flight. This project is part of our goal to provide transportation and connectivity solutions to communities," Mahindra Group Vice Chairman and Managing Director Anand Mahindra said in the release.

The NM5 complements Mahindra Aerospace's growing family of light utility aircraft that are designed to meet the latest global standards and can operate in bare minimum environments, the company said.

Engineers from CSIR, a top national R&D agency, NAL and Mahindra Aerospace spent close to three years designing the new aircraft using cutting-edge design and analysis tools.

The prototype was built over a 10-month period by a team at GippsAero, a Mahindra Aerospace subsidiary in Australia, at their facilities in Melbourne. Flight testing is being performed at GippsAero, it said.

Developmental flight testing and evaluations are continuing, with the ultimate aim of achieving certification in keeping with international regulatory standards, followed by a global sales and marketing programme, the company said.

With an investment commitment in excess of $100 million, Mahindra Aerospace has started work on a major aero-structures manufacturing facility in Bangalore.