The Saras Flies!

Div
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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Div » 29 May 2004 23:34

Excellent news!

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Sridhar » 30 May 2004 01:09

Thanks Victor. Makes sense.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Shashank » 30 May 2004 02:01

A question from ignorant bambaiya. Woh aage salli kaiku hoti hai? Fighter jets me bhi dekhi hai. Saras me kyu?

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Katare » 30 May 2004 02:34

Awesome!

Let's hope they complete project ahead of time and serve the huge market that exist in India/Asia. I am thinking on lines of air taxies between Pune and Mumbai, Ahmadabad and Baroda, Bhopal and Indor for Rs 300/pessanger
:cool:

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Arun_S » 30 May 2004 02:49

Originally posted by Yash:
Someone please correct me if i'm wrong, but a few posts have mentioned Saras as a "jet engine"...as far as I know, this has twin turbo engines, non-native (US). ya?
SARAS has Turbo-Propeller engine. What that means is that it has a turbine-jet engine as power source, however instead of using the power to generate thrust directly by throwing back large air mass at high velocity, it couples that power to an external propeller (usueally via gear train to reduce RPM). Thus such propulsion is called Turbo-Prop, whereby most of the thrust is generated by propeller, the jet still generate a small force due to pure jet force.

For low speed (low sub-sonic) flight pure turbo-jet is very inefficeint, that the Turbo-Propo concept use the best feature of both: Power of jet engine and propeller's higher efficiency and thrust.

All modern propeller aircraft use turbojet engine to drive the prop, since a jet has less moving parts, simple in construction and more relaible compared to older generation piston engine.

BTW the IAF-Avero transport aircraft is the oldest example of Indian aircraft powered by two Turbo-Prop. IIRC the pure jet force from that engine is only ~700 lb, that engine generated many hundered KW of power..

AN-12 also had 4 Turbo-prop engines.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby JTull » 30 May 2004 03:28

This is another high point for Indian Aerospace industry. Next new aircraft to fly could be MCA!

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Arun_S » 30 May 2004 03:42

So one can get an idea of landing attitude at touchdown. The angle is ~7 degree.
Hindustan Times: Picture of Saras touching down

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby JTull » 30 May 2004 04:30

India's 1st civilian aircraft Saras test-flown successfully in B'lore

"It reached a speed of 150 nautical miles and flew at an altitude of about 8,000 feet. The landing was good and the aircraft was handling beautifully," an ASTE official said."

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby symontk » 30 May 2004 06:22

Why is it written CSIR-TCR-HAL-MCA partnership on the front side of the aircraft? Is there something to do with MCA project?

MCA Description on the side of SARAS

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby SaiK » 30 May 2004 06:43

Yup.. it is do with MCA : Ministry of Civil Aviation. ;)

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Kuttan » 30 May 2004 06:49

Arun, thanks. That looks a lot clearer.

Straight tapered wings set far back. Mach 0.6 top speed. It doesn't look so "Bollywood Actress" in plan form.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Arun_S » 30 May 2004 07:26

Narayanan: You are the Guru, I am only a 6 month old in your presence :D

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby SaiK » 30 May 2004 07:57

http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/may302004/img/1.jpg

A better picture of landing

http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/may302004/n5.asp

PM likely to inaugurate Saras flight next month . “We have also requested Congress President Sonia Gandhi to be present on the occasion,”

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Victor » 30 May 2004 07:58

The lower twin-fins in the tail section would indicate a design intention of a much higher operational AoA. These are meant to engage the airstream to provide lateral stability when the main tail fin is "blinded" by a nose-high attitude, ie. high Angle of Attack.

The Saras props are 5-bladed and shorter than "normal" 4-bladed turboprops. This provides a shorter diameter for ground clearance purposes. From the pics, I can see about a 30 degree AoA before the lower fins touch the ground. That's more than required for such a plane.

There will almost certainly be situations where the plane will have to approach and takeoff at higher AoA than is shown in the first, tentative flights and the plane looks more than capable.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby rad » 30 May 2004 09:30

could any one explain the real benefit of the saras which is in the same class as the dornier 228 nearly in alll respects.The do-228 does everything from recce,elint,SAR also , and the coast guard and the navy are also extremey happy with the dornier, The Dornier did its share of short haul flight . We also have the entire license and know how of the Dornier.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Victor » 30 May 2004 09:47

Originally posted by rad:
could any one explain the real benefit of the saras
Learning how to build our own plane that is as good or better. Gotta do it sometime and now is good.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Shankar » 30 May 2004 10:49

The advantages of Saras as it comes to my mind particularly with respect to pusher props inback are
- Higher wing efficeancy that is more lift per sq mtr due to absence of boundary layer seperation of airstream flowing over it
-ease of mounting with increase detection range and higher resolution for imaging infra red sensors mounted on wings due to absence of hot jet exhaust in proximity.
-entire wing surface is free for recon gear like camaras,elint pods,decoy launchers etc etc which can be mounted both on overwing or underwing pylons
-somewhat higher level of pilot safety in case of heat seeker missile strike
-low wing loading and vibration allowing extensive use of composites and consequently low RCS.
- may to some extent replace UAV s in high target density battle envoironment

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Yugandhar » 30 May 2004 13:25

nice article on the saras in The Hindu

Behind the graceful take-off

The NAL team finally decided on an unusual 14-seat design with rear-mounted, twin Pratt and Whitney Canada turbines driving `pusher' propellers. This configuration in one shot greatly minimises the noise and vibration characteristic of propeller-driven aircraft that today's passengers, spoilt by `pure jets,' find so objectionable. The other objection, concerning the relatively slow speed, is of little importance at short ranges. The point-to-point convenience of smaller aircraft may often actually reduce total travel time.

Rear-mounted engines also ensure `cleaner' wings, which thus become more efficient. A useful comparison is with the German designed Dornier 228s that have been manufactured under licence by Hindustan Aeronautics since the 1980s. The comfortably pressurised Saras will fly three times as high (`above' the weather) and is almost whisper quiet. Its much longer range and higher ground speed is icing on the cake.


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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby geeth » 30 May 2004 13:28

Congrats to the team. I am little disappointed with the weight problems of the aircraft and I sincerely hope they will correct it in the next prototype.

The design team had been trying to rope in Russians (precisely to solve the weight problem)even after the Russian company with which they were collaborating initially pulled out. When one reads that there is about 900 KG overweight even without any seats, carpets and sound proofing in the cabinet, then the problem is serious enough to have a careful look at the design. Unlike the fighter project, they can't use exotic material for weight reduction due to cost consideration. If the structural design is inefficient, then we have some distance to cover..

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Jagan » 30 May 2004 15:44

No better place to test this new smilie than this thread.

:D

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby JTull » 30 May 2004 16:11

Whether we're not qualifying our new aircraft fast enough, or not getting enough orders or not building fast enough, one this is very clear. India is on it's way to become an aerospace power. How many countries have as many new aircraft under works? The fear expressed by everyone is that after LCA nothing may come along. But this maturing of Indian aerospace is all around and irreversible. Also, there are just too many private sector companies involved now and beuraucrats cannot play the spoilsport anymore. This progress can be delayed but not avoided.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby JTull » 30 May 2004 16:16


Calvin
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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Calvin » 30 May 2004 17:48

OK: I took the trouble to google on the Avanti and found that the rear facing turboprops are called "pusher turboprops" that let the P180 Avanti get to 260 knots with a max takeoff weight of 5.2 Tonnes with two P&W (PT6A066) turboprops. Here is a pic of that plane:

http://www.piaggioamerica.com/GalleryImages/images/P8fly.JPG

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Calvin » 30 May 2004 18:01

Another question, what is the reported sell-price of this plane. I think other planes in this category go for around US$5MM (or so). Aero experts, please comment.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Arun_S » 30 May 2004 18:39

Originally posted by yugandhar:
nice article on the saras in The Hindu

Behind the graceful take-off
Pushing the flight envelope out to the over 550 kmph speed and 35,000 feet altitude
I am very surprised of a propeller aircraft having such high ceiling. IIRC most props peter out at 25,000 to 30,000 ft.

What brings this capability?

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Calvin » 30 May 2004 18:59

Does this have to do with the push-turboprops? The Piaggio Avanti P180 has a ceiling of 41000 ft.

http://www.piaggioamerica.com/PDF's/PiaggioDirectMail.pdf

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Arun_S » 30 May 2004 19:04


Amitabh
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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Amitabh » 31 May 2004 00:47

Originally posted by rad:
could any one explain the real benefit of the saras which is in the same class as the dornier 228 nearly in alll respects.The do-228 does everything from recce,elint,SAR also , and the coast guard and the navy are also extremey happy with the dornier, The Dornier did its share of short haul flight . We also have the entire license and know how of the Dornier.
From The Hindu article:
The NAL team finally decided on an unusual 14-seat design with rear-mounted, twin Pratt and Whitney Canada turbines driving `pusher' propellers. This configuration in one shot greatly minimises the noise and vibration characteristic of propeller-driven aircraft that today's passengers, spoilt by `pure jets,' find so objectionable...

Rear-mounted engines also ensure `cleaner' wings, which thus become more efficient. A useful comparison is with the German designed Dornier 228s that have been manufactured under licence by Hindustan Aeronautics since the 1980s. The comfortably pressurised Saras will fly three times as high (`above' the weather) and is almost whisper quiet. Its much longer range and higher ground speed is icing on the cake.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Rishikh » 31 May 2004 01:02

What roles would this plane be used for?

There must be a small market in the corp. sector, as well as VIP.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby NRao » 31 May 2004 01:48

I hope rural routes.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Sridhar » 31 May 2004 02:00

Report in the Business Standard.
<a href="http://www.business-standard.com/common/storypage.php?hpFlag=Y&chklogin=N&autono=157444&leftnm=lmnu1&lselect=0&leftindx=1">link</a>

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby SaiK » 31 May 2004 03:41

THE FLIGHT OF SARAS

SARAS, THE FIRST civilian passenger aircraft to be designed and developed in the country, has spread its wings and taken to the air. The 14-seater aircraft (extendable to 18 seats) is named after the Indian crane, possibly in the hope that it will emulate the bird's beauty and grace. The aircraft is designed to provide modern levels of passenger comfort and safety while being able to take off and land from short, semi-prepared runways. Its primary role will be as a feeder airline and air taxi, carrying passengers and cargo from small towns and less accessible places to the bigger cities. It can also serve as air ambulance, executive transport and in certain defence roles (such as coastal patrolling). The twin rear-mounted engines, with their five-blade propellers facing aft in a `pusher' configuration, give the aircraft a distinctive appearance. This configuration is said to reduce cabin noise and make for smoother wind flow over the wings. According to the Bangalore-based National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), which is developing Saras, market surveys have shown there is a domestic demand for over 200 such aircraft for the period up to 2015.

Saras has been a long time in the making. A study by NAL in the mid-1980s revealed there were many unused airfields in the country that could be opened for air travel and transportation if a small, rugged passenger aircraft became available. The design for a multi-role Light Transport Aircraft took shape in the early 1990s. Then NAL tied up with the Myasishchev Design Bureau of Russia jointly to develop the aircraft. That partnership broke up in the mid-1990s; according to NAL, the Russians could not come up with their share of the funding. In September 1999, Saras became a national programme. The Union Government cleared the project for a total cost of Rs. 131.38 crores, with financial contributions from the Technology Development Board, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, and the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The post-Pokhran trade sanctions imposed by the United States increased costs and delayed the Saras programme. (NAL was listed as one of the banned entities.) The first prototype ultimately rolled out on February 4, 2003 and the aircraft took off on May 29 when it flew for half an hour.

There are disquieting reports that the aircraft has greatly exceeded its intended weight, reducing the payload (passengers plus cargo) it can carry and the range. A news agency has reported that the prototype was 900 kg heavier than expected; that comes to three-fourths of the maximum payload of 1,200 kg the aircraft ought to be able to carry. Moreover, while the then Union Minister for Science & Technology, Murli Manohar Joshi, stated in Parliament in February 2001 that Saras would be able to fly 1,200 km with 14 passengers, the aircraft's brochure on the NAL website puts its maximum range with that many passengers at 400 km. Weight reduction therefore has to be top priority. This and any other technical issue thrown up during flight trials will have to be resolved before the aircraft is ready for certification by the Director General of Civil Aviation, possibly in about three years' time. Saras will then face the challenge of succeeding in the marketplace of civil aviation, withstanding cut-throat competition from aircraft manufacturers abroad. "SARAS will usher in a vibrant civil aircraft industry in the country in the coming years," claims an NAL brochure. There is a long way to go to reach that goal.
web page

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Victor » 31 May 2004 05:48

With Saras' range (about 2,000 km), a service ceiling of 12 kms (about 40,000 ft, similar to 747 jumbo jets) and ideas of flying "above the weather" are wishful thinking. By the time the plane got to that altitude, it would be almost out of fuel because of the modest climb rate and the fact that the higher you go, the harder it is to maintain climb rate with a given amount of energy. Short/medium range turboprops may be technically capable of reaching high altitudes because of pressurised cabins and efficient engines but in reality, they will rarely go above 25,000 feet (about 7 kms) which is the outside ceiling. More likely, most of Saras' flights will take place at an altitude of between 5,000 to 15,000 feet, just like regular small turboprops. Now, a couple of jet engines would change that very quickly.

About the weight problem, I am curious about the belly! The only conceivable things that bulge needs to accomodate are the landing wheel assembly and, maybe the wing spar. If you look at the same area in Arun's post above with the specs, that is what it needs to look like approximately. JMHO.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby shiv » 31 May 2004 05:50

There are plenty of DDM errors creeping in.

The Saras has an endurance of 6-8 hours but a range of "400 Km" - which means that he Saras will cruise at 60 kmph to reach Chennai from Bangalore 15 minutes faster than the Chennai-Bangalore bus service. :roll:

The range of teh Sara is likely to be in the region of 4000 Km and not 400.

Another DDM mis-report is the confusion between the actual altitude achieved in the first flight and the service ceiling. Theer is real confusion here with some reports saying the first flight went to 7000 feet. Others saying it went to 7000 meters and some reports speaking of a service ceiling of 7000 meters.

One more reason for the high rear engines I suspect is to reduce foreign object ingestion in unprepared airstrips. The Saras will be a "feederliner" more the anything else - linking small towns with hubs.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Calvin » 31 May 2004 07:02

Victor: The Avanti P180, which is increasing looking like a similar class plane as the Saras, routinely cruises at 41,000 ft, therefore, one might assume that there is an advantage for the Saras too.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby shiv » 31 May 2004 07:52

Calvin - I am not sure that the P180 and the Saras are intended for the same roles/market - though they are similar.

Here are two links that show some specs - it appears that both planes are powered by the same Pratt & Whitney P6-66 engines - but at max takeoff the Avanti is about a ton lighter

http://members.xoom.virgilio.it/f5avipatches/p180 page.html

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1040527/asp/nation/story_3297295.asp

The Avanti team seem to be pushing their aircraft as one capable of flying as fast as a jet - which as far as I can tell is the big sellling point for executives in the US who want to have shorter intra-US flights and less travel fatigue.

I think the Saras is aimed at the short-hop feederliner market in India - with hops as short as 200-300 Km and no requirement to fly over Himalayas/Alps/Rockies.

Jets often take 20-30 minutes to reach, fuel efficient cruising altitude- and that may be too long for a short haul airliner. A 45 minute 300 Km trip may involve 15 minutes climbing, 15 minutes cruise and 15 minutes descent - so teh altitude requirement and performance on the Saras may be totally different.

JMT

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Arun_S » 31 May 2004 07:57

Some clarifications on definition of Aircraft parameters:

1.Altitude ceiling: The altitude at which the rate of climb decreses to 100 ft/minute (IIRC th enumber correctly). That does not mean it is the ecomonic cruise altitude.

2. Maximum cruise speed: Best possible speed (level flight) possible at most ideal altitude (the ideal altitude is different fro each aircraft design). This is always more than the ecomonic cruise speed.

3. Maximum Endurance : Maximum possible flying time at nominal payload(i.e. less then max payload). This typically means flying at speed lesser than than ecomonic cruise speed, and certain optimal altitude. For survillance mission this is an important figure but is also dependent on how far away is the station keeping zone from operating base (at ecomomic cruising speed).

4. Maximum range: This is the true figure of merit for flight efficiency, payload and maximum takeoff weight(that limits the fuel load). This assumes not consuming reserve fuel.
Maximum range is normally achiveed when the plane flys at Ecomomic Cruise speed (that is lesser than maximum cruise speed), and at an Ecomomic Cruising Altitude (that is lesser then Service Ceiling).

Thus most airplanes show this parameter for different payloads.

5. Ferry range: This the maximum range with miminum possible payload and maximum possible fuel. That is how far a pilot can ferry the plane.

Thus from the website http://www.viman.res.in/sarasspec.htm

Ferry Range: 2800 Km, IFR Reserves
Range with 9 Passengers: 2500 Km, IFR Reserves
Range with 14 Passengers: 1000 Km, IFR Reserves

An interesting paramter at this web site is:

Specific Range (@ 11.0 Km Alt)= 2.6 Km/kg
(Specific Range is at maximum range flight condition)

Indicates the ecomomic cruising altitude is 11Km (i.e. 33,000 feet) truly well above weather. Thus if it takes off from Leh airfield it's ferry range can approach 2.6km/kg * 1326 Kg (Max. Fuel Weight) = 3,447 Km

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Pulikeshi » 31 May 2004 08:55

A naive question: What is the pointy stick on the nose?

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Katare » 31 May 2004 09:28

Thanks Arun your post really cleared a lot of confussion!

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Calvin » 31 May 2004 10:09

Shiv: The comparison with the Avanti suggests that there might be a market for the Saras as a exec-ride in India, South East Asia, China, or even Western Europe/USA.

Now, compared to the Avanti with the Ferrari name behind it, Saras may not appear attractive - but that depends entirely on its price tag. The P180 goes for (1990 prices) $4.6MM


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