mody wrote:The 100 KN (approx), engine is going to come with the GE 414. Today's comment CAS Browne says the contract for 99 engines has been signed.
But the bigger problem right now seems to be with the testing and more specifically, how to conclude the testing the requirements and finally certify the aircraft. The design team seems to stopped at the last hurdle of the testing phase and seem confounded as to how to go about finishing the last 10% or so of the tests to finish the testing and show the aircraft operating at its full design capabilities.
The MK1 can also go upto 9G and achieve AoA of 28 degrees and sustained high turn rates. Maybe with the low powered engine, it may not be able to do the same when fully loaded, but what about doing this with partial fuel load and no weapons? This would only be for testing out the aerodynamic performance of the plane and to test the flight control software to the max. With a more powerful engine, or conversely, slightly lower weight, the plane can have the full performance even when fully loaded.
It seems that if the LCA team had an external experienced hand to guide them with the testing program, over the last two years, the same would have been completed by now.
Disagree. Testing to the limits is iterative. Right now, no one has the balls to take the ac to its limits and risk losing a life of a pilot or a valuable aircraft. So.
IAF has to make do with a one legged horse for a while. I believe they will take it, and then the fly boys will test it to its limits when it is in service.
I dont see the HAL DRDO sticking their necks out, and going whole hog testing and risk losing the program at all.....the Indian defense forces are very anti-RnD and very pro foreign maal ! HAL DRDO will not risk their hides and lives and funding.
I agree that testing the aircraft to its limits is a iterative process. Actually most aircrafts are tested to is conservative baseline performance specs, which are the minimum that they are required to have as per the Staff Qualitative Requirement or its equivalent. Once the aircraft enters active duty, its only then that the aircraft is pushed beyond its normally stated baseline performance.
However, what you state thereafter is exactly in agreement with me. What I am saying is that DRDO-ADA folks currently seem to be stuck in their testing program, where they are unable to or unwilling to open up the flight envelope any further and take any kind of risk, while sticking to their risk averse testing program. There is a fear of the unknown, as they do not have enough experience of testing unstable aircraft designs, is stalling them in their effort even to reach the baseline performance specs as desired by IAF. Hence they are not sure of the results and are stuck carrying out tests in very small steps. If they had an experienced partner, like for example Lockheed (or someone similar), then Lockheed would be able to guide the testing program better and allow ADA to take much bigger steps in their testing program to bring it to a conclusion.
Currently as the things stand, the LCA has not reached its baseline performance benchmarks. This is clear, as the IOC and FOC are constantly getting delayed. ADA needs to open up the flight envelope and expand their testing regimen from what it is currently, so that they can reach atleast the baseline performance benchmarks. In my opinion it seems that this where they are stuck.
The super duper flying stuff, to take the aircraft to its very edge of performance, shall happen much later and will be done actually by TACDE/ASTE type of guys in collaboration with ADA, after the FOC has been achieved and the LCA is inducted by IAF.
In fact this will most probably happen only with the MKII.