The Saras Flies!

ArunK
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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby ArunK » 15 Jun 2004 22:02

Very moving account by Mr. Bhogale.

It brings tears to my eyes. You see, Sqn Ldr K K Venugopal happens to be my first cousin. I have kept myself from commenting on this for a very long time because of this. Now that the flight is over, I can bring myself to express just how proud I am of what Venu has achieved.

One minor factual inaccuracy in Mr. Bhogale's account. Venu's two year old kid is a girl not a boy.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Cybaru » 15 Jun 2004 22:04

Please send him our heart felt congrtulations in person!

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Abhijit » 15 Jun 2004 22:27

Outstanding article by Mr. Bhogale. ArunK, pl. convey our heartfelt thanks and congratulations to Mr. Venugopal and the entire NAL team.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Vivek K » 15 Jun 2004 23:30

Great and moving account. It amkes us all feel proud. Both the pilots desrve praise as does the work-culture at NAL.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby svinayak » 16 Jun 2004 00:08

I think this is the most important part of the whole story. Things did change with the change in the environment.


Then Dr Murli Manohar Joshi came along with his swadeshi bias. We finally managed to sell SARAS as a swadeshi plane. We finally got Rs 135 crores in September 1999 to really start work.Sadly the money came at the wrong time. After the nuclear tests, the US decided that NAL should come under the sanctions list (really because we support the country's missile programme).
All our foreign purchases were blocked. And rather well ... we couldn't even smuggle stuff in by subterfuge.

But NAL worked and struggled resolutely. The SARAS
programme became that wonderful binding force between aerodynamics, structures, materials, flight mechanics, propulsion, composites, control .. A third of NAL's employees worked voluntarily every Saturday with a compensation package of only rava idlis or bisi bele baath. This has gone on for five years now.
ArunK, Send him all the wishes!

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Saurav » 16 Jun 2004 00:38

One question, How is/was MMJ involved with SARAS?

-TIA

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Ashutosh » 16 Jun 2004 01:07

Through the CSIR I guess ...

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby JTull » 16 Jun 2004 01:22

All such decisions are discussed in the cabinet and MMJ is a particularly vocal person.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Saurav » 16 Jun 2004 01:44

Originally posted by bansal:
All such decisions are discussed in the cabinet and MMJ is a particularly vocal person.
Are all cabinet ministers involved in such discussions or was it just because of MMJ's personality and his relationship with top two?

How much say did MMJ have in the actual decision making (apart from discussions) of such projects?

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Kartik » 16 Jun 2004 02:29

excellent article. truly inspiring and moving. wonder where our doubting Thomases are now.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Manne » 16 Jun 2004 09:11

ArunK,

Please convey our salute and thanks to him and NAL team. I take it you have had a chance to talk to him about BR ? If not, you must. :)

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Amarko » 16 Jun 2004 15:03

Bravo Saras team!

Such inspired people are inspiring to all the rest!

Waiting eagerly for the day dozens of Saras crisscross the skies.

Amarko.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Sam CS » 17 Jun 2004 22:24

Bravo Saras team!
And lookie what you've done now...
Boeing and Sukhoi invite HAL to join consortium

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby putnanja » 18 Jun 2004 01:27


JTull
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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby JTull » 18 Jun 2004 01:36

According to current estimates, the final production standard aircraft would have an all-up weight of 6,900 kg, without any compromise either in terms of the seating capacity or the flight range. While a normal version, with a capacity of 14 passengers would have a range of about 400 km, the executive version, with eight passengers, would have a range of as much as 2,000 km.

As part of the efforts to optimise the design, NAL has proposed to incorporate a higher power engine with a suitable propeller for the second prototype at an additional cost of Rs. 3 crores.
Ties well with Arun's estimates.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Arun_S » 18 Jun 2004 09:32

I am feeling lucky :D

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby A Sharma » 18 Jun 2004 18:18


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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby maitya » 19 Jun 2004 07:36

Originally posted by bansal:
... all-up weight of 6,900 kg ... with a capacity of 14 passengers would have a range of about 400 km, the executive version, with eight passengers, would have a range of as much as 2,000 km.
From Asharma's link from floonnet - design objectives were:

MTOW: 6,100 kg
Max payload: 1,232 kg

Range:
600 km with 19 passengers
1,200 km with 14 passengers
2,000 km with 08 passengers

Too much of a variance, I'd say - being a feeder airline, the first goal (of 600km with 19 passengers) will be the bread-and-butter.

A new powerful engine will be again at avariance with the other objectives viz.
i) low cabin noise of 78 dB
ii) endurance of 06 hours
iii) high `specific range' (range per kg of fuel consumed) and low operating cost

Also letting it to be more heavy will also impact the T/O and Landing distance (the goal here was
of about 600 m) - again something that doesn't go down too well the goal of "operability from semi-prepared runways even at high altitude airfields".

Interesting times ... but an excellent first step nontheless (hope NAL appreciates that with the LCA/IJT projects the bar is set very high for indigenous Aerospace). :cool:

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Victor » 19 Jun 2004 08:38

More powerful engines do not automatically translate to higher noise levels because of advances in design and specially because they are in the back of the plane. Saras looks like a very good seed design around which things can grow. With a more powerful engine set, Saras could perhaps be stretched to maybe a 20 seater and still meet original specs and be more economical. When we resolve the weight issues, we could scale it up to a 30-40 seater configuration which would make it a completely different plane. This is done routinely by the established players. From there it is a short hop to swept wings and jets.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Pennathur » 19 Jun 2004 08:59

The CPI(M) rag PD is as usual playing fast and loose - in one breath we hear about how the project has been going on since 1991 and suffered gross overruns - in the next we are told that sanctios delayed commencement to as late as 1999! So then in five years an aerospace lab on a shoestring budget serving its folks rava idli in lieu of OT designs a plane and flies it? Outstanding! I too would have no problem if I could test any engine I wanted, any avionics I wanted and any structures I wanted and put them together. This in no way is to deride Embraer or any other airframe manufacturer. We just need a sense of perspective. Haven't we heard this before?

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Arun_S » 19 Jun 2004 10:56

Prototype obesity is the rule rather than exception, so I do not fret about it. Making the first flight early is the right decision.

Me think for Saras the dominant MTOW constrain is retaining takeoff length (higher stalling speed given engine power)and landing gear/fuselage strength (to handle the higher energy due to greater weight and higher T/O speed).

As for MTOW target weight moving from 6100 Kg to 6900Kg, clearly the efforts need to be on structural weight reduction, strengthened fuselage & landing gear and slightly more powerful engine.

The range vs passenger trade off is in fact ideal for feeder liner role, where range is not driving criterion. OTOH it allows longer range for charter flight role that by definition means lighter PAX payload.

IAF specially needs this class of planes. It frequently requires movement of key peoples across airbases where flying a big Avero is not ecomomical and stationing an Avero unaffordable. Every IAF airbase need 2 such planes.

As for more powerful engine its full power is used only at takeoff, when it is cruising the plane would use almost same power as current engine, and ~70% of max power. Thus cabin noise is not affected. My only concern is weight of bigger engine & prop.

BTW I did not see any indication that props are adjustable and reversible pitch.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby SureshP » 27 Jun 2004 22:33

Please take the time to check if the link has already been posted as it was in this case

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby chola » 30 Jun 2004 02:05

Originally posted by Arun_S:
Prototype obesity is the rule rather than exception, so I do not fret about it. Making the first flight early is the right decision.
I think it is even safe to say that all planes are essentially overweight in their initial renditions.

If your design allows surplus weight then it is not a very good design. Weight, after all, is essential to performance. Who would set a high weight and then work on padding up to a large weight requirement? Of course, no one does that :D

Weight is crucial in aircraft and will always be set at the lowest possible level for the design (and the envisioned powerplant) and then the trick is to reduce weight to the target set.

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Postby JaiS » 18 Aug 2004 19:20

Update.

Saras all set for take-off on Sunday


NEW DELHI, AUGUST 16: India's first short-haul light civilian aircraft, Saras, is all set to formally take-off on Sunday, if Bangalore’s weather permits.

During a test-flight in late July, the first Saras prototype had skidded to one side after landing. The glitches are now known to have been caused by minor inconsistencies in the ground directional systems. Sources said the problem areas included use of the rudder, steering of the nosewheel, and selective application of brakes after landing. Over the next two days, the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) will conduct test flights to build confidence before the launch.

While various delays (caused by lack of funds or components) have peppered Saras’ 13-year journey, a broad area of concern now is the prototype’s weight, which exceeds its drawing board weight considerably, though NAL feels the issue would not be difficult to resolve. While the second Saras prototype is expected to be test-flown about a year from now, NAL has proposed a two to three year schedule to obtain flight certification for Saras.

Saras, a 14-seater turbo-prop aircraft, runs on twin Pratt & Whitney PT6A-66 engines. The project is set to replace the Dornier aircraft, and is being positioned for light civilian transport, air medical services, executive transport and surveillance. NAL believes there is a market for about 150 Saras aircraft in the country at this stage.

Saras project director Dr K.Y. Narayan said: ‘‘We will aggressively market Saras in the domestic market first. We have not yet explored exports, though that will come later.’’ Source said, the IAF itself is likely to be a primary customer.




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Postby Cybaru » 18 Aug 2004 21:34

I hope the next project is a 30-45 seat saras...

Will find many more uses with higher payload and more range.. Being a turbo-prop will be economical for short hops as well.

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Postby Sridhar » 18 Aug 2004 22:36

That it is overweight is not the problem. Many aircraft are overweight initially and then weight is reduced. The problem is that the usual procedure was not followed - the weight committee did not even meet. There is no plan in place even now on where and how weight is to reduced. In most projects, the fact that the plane would be overweight initially is anticipated and planned for, with a clear plan of action on how to reduce the weight. The fact that this was not true for the Saras points to deeper systemic problems in the organization, where the issue was brushed under the carpet at the design stage instead of acknowledging it and addressing it.

Hopefully, lessons have been learnt and would be applied to future projects. Some benefit of doubt can be given to NAL since it is primarily a research organization with little development experience in the past. Even so, accountability must be fixed and new procedures incorporated if there is to be learning from this episode for the future.

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Postby JaiS » 21 Aug 2004 12:27


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Postby Guru » 21 Aug 2004 22:41

How far has the Saras flown so far?

How many have booked their orders?

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Postby Singha » 21 Aug 2004 22:52

IAF has ordered 5 as a starter kit.

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Postby SaiK » 21 Aug 2004 23:57

hard works, productions, and after delivery always adds weight to the belly [ask any woman :D]. its quite natural.

again the cycle should continue.. hard work to reduce belly weight, again make it beautiful, for men to get inspired for newer generations of productions works.

fundemental theory of nature. :)

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Postby Prateek » 22 Aug 2004 03:26

Passimist DDM reporting...

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/5922_963065,0015002200000057.htm

Saras still a distant dream
HTC
August 22

It may take a few more years before India's indigenously-built 14-seater light transport aircraft 'Saras' starts flying.

While the first prototype designed and developed by the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL),Bangalore, is all set for its formal maiden flight on Sunday, the second prototype may take a few years’ time.

Five hundred hours of flight testing between the two prototypes is being planned before it will reach final production standard. Attempts are also being made to design the best ergonomic cockpit and better equipment location for easy accessibility.

The IAF involved in prototype testing of Saras has shown interest in and has issued a letter of interest for procuring six Saras aircraft.

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Postby Katare » 22 Aug 2004 06:39

It's more like positive news with negative heading :roll:

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Postby putnanja » 22 Aug 2004 10:00

Saras inaugural flight successful

BANGALORE: The first prototype of the country's first civilian aircraft, Saras, made its inaugural flight successfully here on Sunday morning.


The flight lasting about 20 minutes was witnessed by Union Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal and HAL Chairman N R Mohanty.

The aircraft was flown by Squadron Leader K K Venugopal and Wing Commander Makkar.

The inaugural flight was expected last month but was put off following a minor technical glitch during a test flight.

The 14-seater, multi-role aircraft, has been designed and developed by the Bangalore-based National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL).

Saras is capable of flying upto a maximum speed of 550 kms per hour at a cruise altitude of 7,500 feet and is designed to take off and land on short semi-prepared runways.

About 500 hours of flight-testing is planned for obtaining certification from the Directoral General of Civil Aviation according to the Federal Aviation Regulations of the US.

Saras could be used for multi-roles for civilian transport, air medical services, executive transport and surveillance.

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Postby JTull » 22 Aug 2004 13:35

What's the meaning of inaugral flight? It has clearly flown a few times before.

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Postby Yerna » 22 Aug 2004 13:48

Image

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Postby JaiS » 22 Aug 2004 14:28

JTull wrote:What's the meaning of inaugral flight? It has clearly flown a few times before.


First official flight.

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Postby JTull » 22 Aug 2004 15:33

JaiS wrote:
JTull wrote:What's the meaning of inaugral flight? It has clearly flown a few times before.


First official flight.


It is quite a sham then.

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Postby Singha » 22 Aug 2004 15:50

didnt know B747 operates from Blore. Lufthansa or SIA ?

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Postby Arun_S » 22 Aug 2004 17:10

The aircraft was flown by Squadron Leader K K Venugopal and Wing Commander Makkar.


The name Wg Cdr Makkar rings a bell. Is he the same as Sqn Ldr Makkar who was CO of 114 HU at Leh in 1974? or may be his son?

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Postby Singha » 22 Aug 2004 17:23

A sqdn leader of 1974 would be retired by now or atleast still not stuck in the next rank after 30 years !!


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