The Saras Flies!

Tijo
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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Tijo » 31 May 2004 18:26

Arun,
There has been some serious changes in the range of Saras, this is in addition to the weight problems they are having with the plane. we really need some help. :whine:

Max speed: 620 km/h
Max range (14 pax): 400 km
Max range (8 pax): 1400 km
Ferry range: 1924 km
Max specific range: 2.5 km/kg

Reference: NAL Saras Specs

Originally posted by Arun_S:
SARAS SPECIFICATION

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Arun_S » 31 May 2004 18:34

Originally posted by Pulikeshi Varma:
A naive question: What is the pointy stick on the nose?
That is a pitot tube. It's used to measure air speed. The long length ensure that the on-board instrument get true (undisturbed) air speed sample. Air speed is a critical paramter used for flight control and initial flight require accurate reading.

This may be a specially long on this prototype aircraft. Its possible that later model may have it shortened or changed to two small protrusion on the sides of the nose and also on wing tip.

Raj Katare: Thanks, you are welcome.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Aditya G » 31 May 2004 18:46

1990s was the decade of Indian Missiles and Rockets; the aero-jingo could only wait with a degree of frustration. This decade already belongs to aeroplanes. From Space to Air; strange step-back this. :)

I think ACM Kitcha should be ack'ed for supporting the LCA, HJT and Saras projects. He is the first chief I have seen who has been talking business and not diplomacy regarding the indigenous programs. <img src="http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/ubb/icons/icon14.gif" alt="" />

PS: Note the designer Saras name+flag on the nose.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Arun_S » 31 May 2004 18:53

Originally posted by Tijo:
[QB]Arun,
There has been some serious changes in the range of Saras, this is in addition to the weight problems they are having with the plane. we really need some help. :whine:

Max speed: 620 km/h
Max range (14 pax): 400 km
Max range (8 pax): 1400 km
Ferry range: 1924 km
Max specific range: 2.5 km/kg

Reference: NAL Saras Specs

[QB]
Now I have NO more data/news source than every one else in the forum.

Now the 400Km range may be unsettling to some, but that does not mean the airplane suddenly becomes inefficient at that load. Like many other airplanes it may be due to Maximum Take Off Weight cutting down the available Fuel capacity.

BTW one passenger is equal to ~100Kg payload (passenger weight plus baggage)

Lacking details data, here is one possible scenario:

1. SARAS with 8 passenger (i.e. 800Kg payload) and full fuel load (1326Kg) gets to 6100Kg MTOW. Stated range is 1400 Km

2. Now when 6 more passengeres are added (i.e. +600Kg payload), the fuel has to be reduced by 600Kg to stay within MTOW restriction. Now fuel is 726Kg instead of 1326 Kg, i.e. ~45% fuel reduction. The inceased payload (+75%) and decreased fuel(-45%) thus reduce range 71% from 1400 Km (above) to 400Km.

Hope that clarifies.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Aditya G » 31 May 2004 18:55

IIRC this is the last of all the aero-projects that had been in the "advanced stage of development" ;)

What next? MTA is tied up due to Russian infighting. We have not had a media report on the MCA for quite some time.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Krishna » 31 May 2004 19:45

Originally posted by aditya.g:
IIRC this is the last of all the aero-projects that had been in the "advanced stage of development" ;)

What next? MTA is tied up due to Russian infighting. We have not had a media report on the MCA for quite some time.
I think (and hope and pray) that the next big news to come out of our aero community will be the certification of Kaveri and mating it in one of the PV's.

Krishna

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Joeqp » 31 May 2004 23:57

<I>BTW one passenger is equal to ~100Kg payload (passenger weight plus baggage)</I>

Arun, you are too kind to the Indian passenger... I'd put the figure at a more portly 150KG (including all the gifts, <I>achaar</I>, etc.) ;)

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Kartik » 01 Jun 2004 01:05

That pointy thing on the nose is the pitot probe used to measure the airspeed.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Guest » 01 Jun 2004 19:01

Calvin, according to this page, the price (as estimated in Feb 2001) was USD 3.75 million.

Questions on SARAS during Question Hour in Lok Sabha on Feb 23, 2001

Originally posted by Calvin:
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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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby davidn » 01 Jun 2004 19:29

why can't the guy who turned the IJT from this into this sexy creature get to work on the Saras' yucky primer?! :)

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby ameya » 01 Jun 2004 20:00

May be the SARAS will look more beautiful with some new colours on it.
Any idea when is the next prototype expected?
Any suggestions for the colour?

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Calvin » 02 Jun 2004 04:13

I;ve been asking around, and it appears you can get a used P180 (4-5years old) for $2MM, so at $3.8MM its not that bad of a buy, but not that great of one, for the US exec market. However at $3MM it becomes quite compelling, especially if we can do the interior at a fraction of the cost of what it costs to do in the US.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Guest » 03 Jun 2004 18:28

NAL's web site updated with info on SARAS' first flight.

There are three short video-clips as well.

http://www.nal.res.in/pages/sarasfirstexptflight.htm

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Nikhil Shah » 03 Jun 2004 21:10

I can't believe any gujju on this thread hasn't said this:

The SARAS flies! Saras, bau saras!

Aa badhu su maaeendoo che? Choop chaap kaam-dhando mooki ney BR per dhayan do :wah:

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Arun_S » 04 Jun 2004 18:53

[url=http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_804236,0008.htm?headline=Saras~second~flight~on~June~7~»]Saras second flight on June 7[/url]

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby SaiK » 05 Jun 2004 02:52

care reading this opinion on the hindu.

http://www.hindu.com/2004/06/05/stories/2004060500661000.htm

WARNING!
dont bash me for it, eh, it could be a destructive one.

:( :p

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby chola » 05 Jun 2004 03:30

Originally posted by Sai Krshna:
care reading this opinion on the hindu.

http://www.hindu.com/2004/06/05/stories/2004060500661000.htm

WARNING!
Dr. Valluri was NAL's longest-serving Director, from November 1965 to June 1984. And from July 1984 to November 1985, he was Director-General of the Aeronautical Development Agency, which is developing the Light Combat Aircraft.
A former head babu ripping the current one.

Sounds like a lot of sour grapes to me.

The extra weight is worrying but if you look at the even worse weight problem of a project like the JSF, this is not something that can't be overcome.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby fanne » 05 Jun 2004 04:41

Sir,
Lets not trash every criticism on flimsy ground. This guy might be jealous might not be but sure he has the credebilty (the knowledge and experience) to comment on Saras...

On face of it, a plane that is designed to carry a weight of 1500 kg, 1000 kg increase in weight is sure a kiss of death. The question is do we have other reports that verify that and if yes than can it be cured!!

rgds,
fanne

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby shiv » 05 Jun 2004 05:18

Originally posted by fanne:
Sir,
Lets not trash every criticism on flimsy ground. This guy might be jealous might not be but sure he has the credebilty (the knowledge and experience) to comment on Saras...
I agree that criticism should not be trashed. But when criticism involves implying (sarcastically) that xyz is moron - it means that there is a deeper story.

I find Valluri's choice of words curious he alludes to a "distinguished scientist" twice - both times in inverted commas. He is referring to a specific person - and the letter is a sort of public cheap-shot in which insiders will know exactly who this "Distinguished scientist" is while we the public gawk and admire the fighting going on between Ram and Laxman in high places.

It has been public knowledge that the Saras was due to fly - for at least 6 months. I would expect a person with no axe to grind to write a public letter like this expressing concern about the excess weight even as enthusiatic reports started appearing about an impending test flight. Valluri is no stranger to the media and his articles have appeared regularly. Nobody is hiding the fact that it is 900 Kg overweight - that information has been public since the day of teh inaugural flight - but as per Dr. Valluri's letter - he has known about it for a year.

Sorry if I sound critical of Dr. Valluri - but the fact is several aircraft have actually flown in the past two years - with thier warts, and weight and all. Constructive criticism of these programs is essential - but when the thrust of the criticism is to take pot-shots at some mystery "Distinguished scientist" and patronisingly "excuse" the NAL director for his ignorance it becomes a tamasha that we indians seem to excel at - with Valluri being no exception.

I just wonder if Dr. Valluri was hoping the damn thing wouldn't fly - and when it did he scurried to say why it was of no use. The attitude seems to be of a person with a chip on his shoulder. Valluri seems no better than the people he speaks of when he misquotes Haldane. One of the problems of Indian governmental agencies is precisely this "curry favor" + "screw the people you don't like" attitude shown by all. There is a problem - and there seem to be a lot of cobwebs that need to be swept away.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Aditya G » 05 Jun 2004 10:37

The weight problem of Saras is not at all new. Here is an article from March 2001 -

Saras aircraft deemed too fat for production
(Indian Express, 19 March 2001)


The 14-seater Saras, India's first civilian aircraft which is being designed at the National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) in Bangalore, is overweight, and needs to shed flab before being commissioned for production. Members of the Program Management Board, who recently reviewed the progress of the Rs.130-crore project, suggested that the aircraft should undergo a rigorous weight control exercise. The aircraft is to be produced at the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. factory at Nasik.

Too much flab is just one of the problems that is delaying the test flight of Saras. According to NAL sources, technological and procurement problems - arising out of sanctions imposed by the United States - have adversely affected the Saras project and raised its development costs by Rs.15 crore. The aircraft was initially a joint project by NAL and Russia's leading aircraft builder MDB under the Integrated Long-term Technology Programme (ILTP) signed 12 years ago. But three years ago, India took the Saras project out of ILTP when Moscow was unable to fulfill its monetary obligation. The project is now being financed by a grant from the Technology Development Board of the Department of Science & Technology.
Is Taneja Aerospace part of the Saras project? I always that the would produce the aircraft like Hansa.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby JTull » 06 Jun 2004 00:31

Saras second flight on June seven

BANGALORE: The first prototype of Saras, India's home grown civilian aircraft, will make its second test flight on June seven at the HAL airport here, a top Indian Air Force official said on Friday.

"The second test flight of Saras will be on Monday," IAF's Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) Commandant Air Commodore Anil Chopra told reporters here.

Saras, designed and developed by Bangalore-based National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), was first flown on May 29 by ASTE chief test pilot Sqdn ldr K K Venugopal and his team.

The prototype, powered by two Canadian Pratt and Whitney engines, flew for about 20 minutes over the Bangalore skies at a speed of 138 nautical miles and reached an altitude of about 8,000 feet.

"The aircraft carried about 350 sensors on board. The time lag of over a week for the second flight is due to the detailed analysis which had to be undertaken by our engineers and pilots," Chopra said.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby shiv » 06 Jun 2004 07:53

Originally posted by bansal:
Saras second flight on June seven

"The aircraft carried about 350 sensors on board. The time lag of over a week for the second flight is due to the detailed analysis which had to be undertaken by our engineers and pilots," Chopra said.
Data point for future reference

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Sridhar » 06 Jun 2004 08:06

Dr. Valluri could have done without the 'Distinguished Scientist' reference. But apart from that, I don't find anything objectionable about the letter. Some of this resentment may be due to old age (80+) plus a lot of medical problems (he is under a lot of medication). Some of it is also personality traits, plus the negatives that come from having led the aeronautical establishment for 20 years or so (people in such situations tend to be over-possessive). Also the fact that Raj Mahindra (incidentally, the designer of the Saras and a contributor to practically every Indian aircraft except the IJT that is flying today) was mistreated by the Government for political reasons (including one-upmanship within the research community) could be a factor - he resigned for this reason even though he was publicly urged to continue. The advances that the Indian aeronautical research establishment owes a lot to Valluri (as well as many others - one should not go overboard in praise or gratitude to him too).

I have spoken to him at length and he expresses immense pride in the achievements of the teams of today, whether it is the ADA team or the Saras team. Even for those individuals of whom he is critical for many of their actions, he has always had a word of praise for their positive qualities. I shall not name names here, but in the conversation with me, he spent some time talking about this 'Distinguished Scientist's positive qualities.

To sum up, the criticism may be excessively harsh and could have done without the personalization. But it would be stupid to completely ignore the substantive issues he raises.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby JTull » 06 Jun 2004 12:39

In case you guys didn't know "Distinguished Scientist" is an official designation/title in civilian govt. research labs.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Krishna » 07 Jun 2004 16:13


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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Guest » 07 Jun 2004 17:50

<img src="http://www.nal.res.in/picts/sarssecondflightbs.jpg" alt="" />
More pics from 2nd flight of SARAS

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby SaiK » 08 Jun 2004 01:18

<img src="http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/jun082004/img/2.jpg" alt="" />

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Rishikh » 08 Jun 2004 02:02

Does anyone know the reasons for the overwight?

1000 KG is very much for this size plane. If they are not able to reduce it, then the whole project will have to be scrapped. :(

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby srai » 08 Jun 2004 04:10

Originally posted by Rishikh:
Does anyone know the reasons for the overwight?

1000 KG is very much for this size plane. If they are not able to reduce it, then the whole project will have to be scrapped. :(
It's sort of mentioned in this article:

The Saras - Opinion - Letters to the Editor
...
It is a standard practice in the design of aircraft to have what is called a weight control group, whose approval is mandatory during design and prototype development. The [color="green"]bulk of the fabrication of the Saras airframe was apparently done elsewhere</font> and the "Distinguished Scientist" in charge of the programme, who was earlier Director of the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), would [color="green"]seem to have paid inadequate attention to weight control</font>. [color="maroon"]It was only about a year ago the Saras air frame was weighed for the first time, disclosing the considerable weight increase.</font>
...
The [color="green"]airframe structures</font> already made may well have to be scrapped, as there is no simple way of reducing such high weight increases, where even the weight of the paint is taken into account in designing and fabricating the prototypes.

The conclusion is inescapable that the programme has been mismanaged. Not less than another Rs.80 crores to Rs.100 crores will have to be spent to revive the Saras programme, sharpening the question of commercial viability. ...

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby wasu » 08 Jun 2004 04:23

The 350 sensors must contribute something...

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby geeth » 08 Jun 2004 09:24

Regarding the excess weight, what is alarming is not just the present excess weight of 900 KGs, but the fact that the a/c is not in its final configuration - ie., if you do the interiors and put seats etc, the weight may go up by another 500-600 KGs. In such case, the scope for reducing the weight to the desired level becomes a bit difficult, without escalating the cost and or drastic changes in the design.

Maybe the undergraduate students can afford to exceed the actual weight by a third of the design weight in their final year projects (talking from personal experience :cool: ), but not a premier institution like NAL. That is the point what Dr. Valluri seems to be talking about, in his letter to the editor.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby SSridhar » 08 Jun 2004 09:28

Originally posted by wasu:
The 350 sensors must contribute something...
The weight excludes the sensors.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby SaiK » 08 Jun 2004 09:36

is the extra weight more towards the belly that supports the wings?

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Arun_S » 08 Jun 2004 10:10

Some more data from AW&ST

First Flight for Indian-Produced Turboprop
Aviation Week & Space Technology
06/07/2004, page 13

An Indian First

The Saras, India's first indigenously built turboprop, made its debut test flight from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.'s airport in Bangalore. Powered by aft-mounted and rear-facing Pratt & Whitney PT6A-66 engines driving five-bladed, 2.16-meter (7-ft.) propellers, the aircraft is 15 meters long with a 14.7 meter wingspan. Its maximum takeoff weight is 6,100 kg. (13,420 lb.). Built by the government-owned National Aerospace Laboratories and local companies, the aircraft is designed to fill corporate, courier, recon and commuter roles. The $33-million Saras project was begun in 1991 but was stalled by U.S. sanctions. It was revived in 2000 when the government poured an additional 20% of capital into it. The aircraft employs composite empennage flaps and control surfaces on an aluminum fuselage and wings . It has Arinc-429-compatible integrated digital avionics. The initial flight reached an altitude of 8,000 ft. and cruise speeds of 150 kt. Two prototypes are to be tested. Certification is expected in 2008.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby shiv » 08 Jun 2004 14:21

Originally posted by geeth:


Maybe the undergraduate students can afford to exceed the actual weight by a third of the design weight in their final year projects (talking from personal experience :cool: ), but not a premier institution like NAL. That is the point what Dr. Valluri seems to be talking about, in his letter to the editor.
In fact I was going to ask about this - I really wouldn't know - not being an engineer myself. Could it be described as poor engineering if the weight of every nut, rivet and spar is not taken into consideration for an aircraft at the design stage itself?

I would expect that weight reduction now will have to come from using totally different materials - perhaps Titanium or something for key airframe structures and a lot more composites perhaps? I mean - if you were building a 50 story structure - would it be OK to build 35 stories and say "Er - we can't build it any higher - it gets too heavy after this floor"

I realise that aircraft building perhaps works a little differently - but any clues anyone?

I posted a fairly harsh message about Valluri's article - but after a person of his seniority says something - it is unfortunately incumbent on the part of the NAL to make some sort of statement about the issue.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Sribabu » 08 Jun 2004 14:55

From whatever I have read, almost all of the newly designed aircraft have over weight prototypes. Once the design itself is validated and the designers are happy with the flight characteristics, they go about reducing the weight by modifying / changing individual components. Even the JSF and F/A 22 are having the same problems.

Boeing-777 is the only aircraft where I know of weight management being put in place from the design stage and that too because they used many international suppliers who were also risk-sharing partners.

Considering that NAL is not a manufacturing entity and does not have the required experience in production, it is ok if the prototypes are overweight. They have been concentrating on building the aircraft and give it a shape.

Now that it flies, they can do a weight shedding excersice to identify and change different components to reduce weight. If it was so overweight that it cannot even fly, then we can start shouting at the designers and take them to task.

For that matter, I am not sure if the LCA's PV1 is within the production weight requirements.

The comments from Dr. Valluri, though valid, seem to me to be aimed at some individual(s) as he is unable to get the credits. He is using a valid point but out of context of the overall development process to create an issue where it may not (yet) be one.

The precision with which each individual components needs to be manufactured, all the way from processing the metals itself to the final component, and the related quality assurance is what makes them costly. I would not be surprised if some of the components were over-engineered for safety on the prototype adding to the weight. Now they can go about replacing these with those of correct weight specification, reducing the weight progressively. They have enough oppurtunity to do it with other prototypes.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby geeth » 08 Jun 2004 17:15

The way I look at it, it is not the kilograms alone, but the percentage of overweight that is required to be looked at, as far as weight reduction is concerned. There could be many reasons for the overweight.

When you do the design of the aircraft, at the initial stage itself you have to calculate the approx weight of the fuselage, wings, empennage, engine, oleolegs, hydraulics, fuel, seats, interiors and a host of other things. Fine tuning is done while designing individual components, and again calculate/readjust the weight of individual components viz., fuselage, wings....Aerodynamics group and structural engineers normally have a clash of interest. Aero group try to reduce the drag as much as possible and the structural group, the weight of the craft. A classic example is the wing itself - a thicker wing is lighter, but the drag will be more. Hence you should select the right airfoil section at a very early stage in design, since it has a lot of influence on the rest of the design/performance of the a/c.

Descrepancy arises in the calculations due to various factors. One of the reasons is that commercially available sizes may not match your DESIGN values..For eg., if you have arrived at a figure of say 0.8 mm thickness for the skin of the wing, it may happen that commercially available sizes are either 0.75 or 0.85. In that case you have to go for 0.85 mm (not 0.75), which increases the weight (ofcourse for mass production for Boeing etc, one can demand dimensions closer to their requirements). Same goes with structural components. Also, it may not be possible to fabricate components exactly as per the production drawings. All these invariably add to the weight.

Yet another reason for increased weight is that, in prototypes, factor of safety may be a little higher. In aircraft industry, about 1.5 is the normal factor of safety given and there is not much room for complacency.

In the case of Saras, it was well known for the designers long before that the craft had a overweight problem. They were trying to rope in the Russians. Where exactly is the problem, I don't know. I also don't know if it is a question of setting high standardards and not able to achieve it. In any case, the excess weight is almost equal to the payload of the a/c. Unless the weight is drastically reduced, commercial viability of the a/c will be doubtful.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Rudra » 08 Jun 2004 17:16

most probably the structual skeleton was kept
very strong until all the stress and flight tests
are done.its been claimed the PSLV is also very over engineered and heavier than similar vehicles in the hands of more experienced peoples.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby geeth » 08 Jun 2004 17:20

>>>If it was so overweight that it cannot even fly, then we can start shouting at the designers and take them to task.

More or less, that is the case at present..put the seats, do the internals, sound proofing etc, and put 14 passengers - the aircraft cannot take-off!

All said and done, I wish them good luck and hope they will be able to come out with solutions.

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Re: The Saras Flies!

Postby Skanhai » 08 Jun 2004 17:22

A major achievement the SARAS!!.
Hope they keep up te good work!!! I think the SARAS will be very usefull in improving the connection between cities, within India.
Hope airlines in India order the SARAS by dozens.

BTW (I couldn't resist) did you know that next week, a Pakistani plane 3 times the size of a 747-400 with 4 quadraplex steeringsystems and build in swimmingpool will be taking off for the first time? :rotfl:


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