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NAL RTA-70 - India's Regional Turboprop

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Arjun MBT, Jun 16, 2010.

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  1. Arjun MBT

    Arjun MBT Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    Just obtained this impression of the National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) RTA-70 -- the first that depicts the aircraft as a jet rather than the turboprop (Pratt & Whitney engines have already been mooted for the project) it has always been known to be in concept so far. There are no official indications that it will be a jet, though this impression seems to indicate they're at least thinking in that direction. The project is currently near the end of its proof of concept stage, and encompasses India's first attempt at a 50-90 passenger regional aircraft. The following report from Vayu Aerospace earlier this year has all the details.

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  2. Arjun MBT

    Arjun MBT Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    India's Regional Jet To Have Turboprop & Turbofan Variants

    http://livefist.blogspot.com/2010/07/its-official.html

    It's official. As revealed a couple of weeks ago here, India's National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) will develop the Indian Regional Transport Aircraft (IRTA), designated RTA-70 regional jet, not just as a twin turboprop as earlier believed but a common platform with two variants -- a twin turboprop and a twin turbofan. In addition, both variants will also have stretched versions designated RTA-90. The slides above are a from presentation made by NAL Director Dr AR Upadhya. With the Saras programme in one right mess, it seems a little odd that NAL is proceeding quite rapidly on the RTA programme. Even the national auditor had suggested that NAL drop plans of initiating the project without first getting its house in order as far as the Saras was concerned. It said, "Keeping in view the problems faced by NAL in HANSA and SARAS, projects relating to marketing of the aircrafts, difficulties in finding an industrial partner and lack of specialised manpower, NAL may review initiation of the new project for development of a 70 seater aircraft." And this was before the Saras crash of March 2009.

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  3. prototype

    prototype Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    oh come on man,u beat me,i was about to open a thread on this news:(:(
     
  4. Arjun MBT

    Arjun MBT Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    sorry buddy, better luck Next time..lol.... Just Kidding...:D
     
  5. hotstud69

    hotstud69 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Artistic impression
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  6. Arjun MBT

    Arjun MBT Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    @Hotstud :Man A very good picture indeed, Hope CSIR views this page and Take Initiatives Accordingly
     
  7. CONNAN

    CONNAN Major ELITE MEMBER

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    India’s NAL gears up for the big leagues

    By Greg Waldron

    India's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) are not easy to find. Located on the same road as Hindustan Aeronautics just outside Bangalore, the complex has a nondescript steel gate that sits well back from the road and is marked with a small sign.

    Beyond lies a large campus of buildings interspersed with overgrown parkland and large, gloomy trees that overshadow the road. Half a dozen rifle-armed guards man a ramshackle security office, where visitors must surrender their mobile phones in return for a pass.

    Despite its bucolic location, NAL is at the forefront of India's aviation sector, second only to HAL. It is also the cradle of the country's regional commercial aircraft ambitions. NAL's focus is primarily commercial - although technologies developed there have been used in military aircraft, such as the indigenously developed Tejas light combat aircraft.
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    NAL's mandate is: "To develop aerospace technologies with a strong science content, design and build small and medium-sized civil aircraft, and support all national aerospace programmes."

    Founded in 1959, NAL has more than a dozen laboratories. Areas of focus range from avionics to testing and repairing aerospace structures. The labs helped with initial studies on the Gas Turbine Research Establishment's Kaveri engine - the long-delayed, indigenous powerplant intended for the Tejas.

    Every indigenous Indian aerospace vehicle has been tested in NAL's aerospace windtunnel. It is also the body responsible for carrying out aircraft failure analyses and accident investigations. Over the years, it has investigated more than 1,100 cases.

    Although its aircraft development ambitions are at an early stage, NAL hopes it will soon make a leap into the crowded regional aircraft market with a regional transport aircraft, the RTA-70. NAL's Hansa-3 single-engined light aircraft is India's first all-composite aircraft. Intended primarily to replace older aircraft at India's flying clubs, the Hansa-3 is being co-produced with private company Taneja Aerospace & Aviation.

    NAL has also led development of the Saras, a 14-seat multi-role transport aircraft designed primarily for the military. It is working with another private-sector firm, Mahindra Aerospace, on the NM5-100, a five-seater turboprop aimed at air taxi, training, tourism and medevac roles.

    Despite the issues with Saras, NAL is contemplating a far more ambitious project with the RTA-70. Although it was envisaged as a turboprop aircraft, NAL now says the RTA-70 could be powered by turbofan engines, with the government viewing the aircraft as a stepping stone to larger models. NAL is studying the two options, and will deliver a report to the government in April 2011, after which a decision will be made.

    "The government asked us to look at the turbofan option, and after we conduct a feasibility study, we will decide," says NAL director A R Upadhya. "Previously we were focusing only on a high-wing turboprop design. If all goes well, by the end of 2011 we will have full go-ahead to create the aircraft."

    NAL has been in talks with a number of jet engine manufacturers, including Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, Snecma and General Electric. It says all have shown interest in the project.

    "Initially, we were only looking at the turboprop option because of the high price of fuel," says Upadhya. "Lifecycle costs were our key concern. The government then asked us to look at the turbofan option, because they see it as a stepping stone to the high end."

    NAL expects demand for regional aircraft in India to reach 250 by 2025. This is driven by the wealthy Indian middle class and its demand for flights on low-cost carriers. Also, industries are moving into India's smaller cities, increasing the viability of regional flights to such destinations. NAL also sees possible demand for 150 military variants to replace the Indian air force's Antonov An-32 fleet.

    Irrespective of the RTA-70's powerplant, it is likely to come in two variants: a shorter one with 70-90 seats and a longer one with 80-100 seats. Its range will be 1,350nm (2,500km), suitable for most long sectors in India. Avionics are likely to be produced locally, including an indigenous fly-by-wire control system to save weight. Upadhya estimates the aircraft could be in service as soon as 2017, and that NAL is open to international and local partners. The aircraft would be produced by HAL.

    If India produced the RTA-70 as a jet, it would join the increasingly crowded field of 50- to 100-seat regionals. Rivals would include Embraer's E-Jets, Bombardier's CSeries, Comac's ARJ21 and Sukhoi's Superjet.

    A SCEPTICAL VIEW


    Nidhi Goyal, director of aerospace and defence at Deloitte India, is sceptical about the project, but thinks the Indian government will push it to its conclusion. Most of the aircraft's sales are likely to be to state-owned Air India, however. "It will take a very long time for this project to be realised," says Goyal.

    This is a view shared by Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia, who compares the RTA-70 to other "national planes" such as the ARJ21, or the N-250, a commuter aircraft developed by Indonesian Aerospace in the early 1990s.

    While the ARJ21's thin orderbook is populated by a few Chinese carriers and one in Laos, the N-250 failed altogether after the Asian financial crisis of the 1990s. Aboulafia says regional jets tend to suffer the most from high fuel costs, which could make the RTA-70 uneconomical, and that the government will need to effectively pay airlines to use it, probably through subsidised purchase costs.

    "There is no worse market than regional aircraft," says Aboulafia, who notes that although there were rosy projections for regional aircraft in China 10 years ago, fewer than 100 such aircraft are flying there today. "Telling a national airline what it can or cannot buy is the worst way to run a business," he adds.

    Of course, the RTA-70 is a long way from becoming a reality, although India's interest in indigenous aircraft makes it all but certain that the aircraft will fly one day. The key question is one of economics: can airlines with razor-thin margins make money with it?

    SARAS: A TROUBLED HISTORY

    The Saras programme has had an extremely difficult gestation, perhaps signalling a tough road ahead for the RTA-70. It started as an Indo-Russian joint venture in 1986, but Ilyushin pulled out because of a lack of funds.

    After India's 1998 nuclear tests, there was an 18-month stoppage because of a US probe into potential military applications for the aircraft's US-manufactured propellers and avionics. The production Saras will be powered by two rear-mounted Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67A turboprops.

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    Saras, National Aerospace Laboratories
    © National Aerospace Laboratories
    Saras made its first flight 18 years after its inception

    Saras made its first flight in 2004, 18 years after the programme's inception, but in the following years NAL struggled to reduce the aircraft's weight, making progress by introducing composite tails and wings and reducing the number of bulkheads in the aircraft's No 3 prototype.

    On 6 March 2009, Saras suffered a major setback when the No 2 prototype of the push-prop aircraft crashed outside Bangalore, killing all three crew members. Indian investigators believe the military test pilots had been trying to relight an engine with insufficient recovery altitude moments before the aircraft crashed. Although pilot error seems to have been the main factor, the incident delayed the programme.

    NAL says a replacement for the second prototype is likely to be ready in 2011, with a glass cockpit and further use of composites.


    India
     
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  8. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    The strongest key to making it big in aviation markets in both military and civilian departments is to be customer oriented; something which only private firms are in our country. They most strongest market for India are:

    A) AFRICA: From South Africa to Central African countries

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    Advantage:

    - strong Indian presence in both expatriate as well as business terms, product base by private Indian firms
    - shared history and hence cultural comfort with each other.
    - resource rich and hence strong business partners (leading to a strong customer base)
    - friendlier to Indian companies than Chinese firms
    - comfortable with Indian businesses and products (pharmaceuticals, telecom and automobiles mainly for now)
    - gateway into Central and east African countries.
    - South Africa having a strong aeronautic base to partner with (DENEL Aerospace)

    B) South America

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    Advantages

    - Existing customer base via defence (Ecuador, Peru, Chile)
    - Strategic regional partner(s) (Brazil, having a strong aviation industry)
    - Shared past values (both colonized and hence a common bond)
    - Vibrant diaspora
    - relatively educated
    - on the lookout for cost-effective yet modern products that we and China can compete and bag contracts for

    C)Southeast Asia

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    - common social and cultural/faith values
    - emerging ties
    - developing economies like Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos
    - lookout for new alternative supplier (us) to a China-dominated market
    - FTA plays a big role in consolidating ties. (ASEAN FTA)
    - familiar to Indian products
    - resource-rich, strong and cost-effective market that can be potential industrial partners (Vietnamese electronic industry is strong).


    IF and IF NAL, HAL and other aerospace agencies have a spark of willingness to be competitive, they will need to shed their non-glamorous Cold-War "socialist" image and start being more corporatist. More revenue means more incentives, more incentives means, more work, and more work means more retention of scientists that are falling out of sarkari agencies.

    The 'developed' world is of no use to be our customer base in high-end products since they have local alternatives that they won't be willing to sacrifice. But living in a developing, emerging part of the world has us such wonderful advantages that we should not waste a single moment to harness.
     
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  9. tariqkhan18

    tariqkhan18 Major Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    India’s NAL to build RTA-70

    [​IMG]

    The National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) of India is not easy to find even though they are located on the same road as the Hindustan Aeronautics just outside of Bangalore. The complex begins with a nondescript steel gate which is only marked with a small sign.

    Beyond the entry gate, lies a large campus of buildings, overgrown parkland and large, gloomy trees. At least half a dozen of rifle-armed guards, man a ramshackle security officer where every visitor must surrender their mobile phones in order to receive a pass for the facility. Despite the odd location, NAL is still the leader of India’s aviation sector and it is the cracle of the country’s commercial aircraft ambitions. NAL mainly focuses on the development of the commercial aircrafts, but many of their technologies have also been implemented in military aircrafts such as the Tejas light combat aircraft.

    NAL’s goal is to develop the aerospace technologies, to design and build medium and small-sized civil aircraft and to support all of the country’s aerospace programmes. NAL was founded in 1959 and since then it has developed over a dozen of laboratories. They cover different areas – from avionics to the testing and repairing of aerospace structures. The labs were of great help to the initial studies of the Gas Turbine Research Establishment’s Kaveri engine.

    Absolutely every new Indian aerospace vehicle has been tested in NAL’s aerospace wind tunnel. NAL’s laboratories are also responsible for many of the failure analysis and accident investigations – more than 1100 cases through the years. Despite the fact that NAL’s aircraft development ambitions are still at an early stage, their hopes are that they will make a leap in the sphere of the crowded regional aircraft market with the development of the RTA-70. The Hansa-3 single-engined light aircrafts is India’s first all-composite aircraft. It’s main goal is to replace the older aircraft at India’s flying clubs.

    NAL has also led the development of the Saras – this is a 14-seat multi-role transport aircraft which is mainly developed for military operations. NAL is also working in cooperation with Mahindra Aerospace in order to develop the NM5-100 – a five seated turboprop which will be a multi-functional aircraft that can serve as a training, medevac and tourism aircraft. The RTA-70 is currently NAL’s most ambitious project and although it was first planned as a turboprop aircraft, NAL’s current idea is to power it with turbofan engines. At the moment NAL is studying and analyzing both options in order to make the best decision.

    NAL has been contacting with a number of jet engine manufacturers like Pratt & Whitney, Snecma, Rolls-Ryoce and General Electric. All of those companies have shown great interest in the RTA-70 project. NLA’s officials revealed the reason why they initially chose the turboprop option – due to the high price of fuel. However, the turboprop would’ve significantly risen the lifecycle costs. NAL expects that the interest in their regional aircraft will rise and they will have to produce at least 250 by 2025. The reason for that is the wealthy Indian middle class and their demands for low-cost flight carriers. The industry is slowly moving to India’s smaller cities thus increasing the influence of regional flights to those destinations. NAL is also expecting a demand of at least 150 military jets which will replace the current Antonov An-32 which are used in the Indian Air Force. The RTA-70 aircraft is planned to come in two versions – a shorter 70-90 seated and a long one with 80-100 seats. In both cases the plane will have a range of around 2,500km which is suitable for the longest sectors in India. The avionics will most likely be a local production and the use of indigenous fly-by-wire control system is a must be as it will save a lot of weight. Expectations are that the RTA-70 will be finished until 2017 and then NAL will be open to international and local partnerships.

    India’s NAL to build RTA-70 | Indian Defence
     
  10. flanker143

    flanker143 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    New Official Schematics Of India's Concept Regional Jet

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    These are the official new schematics of India's National Civil Aircraft (NCA), under conceptualisation by the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) in Bangalore. The effort is part of an ambitious government-funded campaign to create and build a regional airliner for India and the world market. While little is known about where the programme is currently, there is already debate about whether the limited resources of the aerospace establishment need to be invested in such a large programme, especially when NAL's existing programmes -- the Saras, the NM5 and others -- are nowhere close to completion. Others suggest that such a programme is precisely the sort of thing India's aerospace establishment needs -- something big, solid.
     
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  11. Hashu

    Hashu Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Re: New Official Schematics Of India's Concept Regional Jet

    the question is when will this be done??
     
  12. flanker143

    flanker143 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Re: New Official Schematics Of India's Concept Regional Jet

    if the guys give it their best shot , we can see flying by 2017-18 or so....i mean testing phase....
     
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  13. Hashu

    Hashu Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Re: New Official Schematics Of India's Concept Regional Jet

    first flight will happen in 2014-15
    and done by 2017
    Indian Regional Jet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  14. Hashu

    Hashu Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Re: New Official Schematics Of India's Concept Regional Jet

    "The aircraft is claimed to offer 25% lower acquisition costs, 25% lower operating costs and 50% lower maintenance costs than existing turboprop regional aircraft"
    http://www.nal.res.in/pdf/rta.pdf
    all the best to NAL!!
     
  15. flanker143

    flanker143 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Re: New Official Schematics Of India's Concept Regional Jet

    do u really think that the program will not experience a single delay !!
     
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