Searched Google News for the "NAL Saras" ...
May 11, 2017: India's homemade Saras aircraft may take off in June
"The engine tests have already begun. The low-speed taxi and high-speed taxi trials are expected to be completed by the end of this month. After that, the ASTE will do the first flight most probably in the first week of June," TOI quoted NAL Director Jitendra J Jadhav, as saying.
May 23, 2017: 8 YEARS AFTER, SARAS SET TO TAKE OFF AGAIN
“NAL has completed more than 15 engine ground runs of SARAS PT1N aircraft. We had some technical issues but now we have overcome those and the aircraft has been moved to ASTE (Aircraft Systems and Training Establishment) for carrying out Low Speed Taxi Trials (LSTT) and High Speed Taxi Trials (HSTT). The process is expected to be completed by end of June and SARAS PT1N flight is expected in early July if all goes well,” NAL, director, Jitendra J Jadhav said.
Sep 09, 2017: NAL starts taxi trials of improved Saras
A modified prototype of the 14-seater transport aircraft started making low-speed taxi trials in early August. Air Force pilots have completed five runs of around 45 minutes each and will next move on to high-speed taxi tests, according to Jitendra Jadhav, Director, National Aerospace Laboratories, under the Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR).
Dr. Jadhav said, “We plan to fly the aircraft in the first week of October after the high speed taxi trials are completed. We made more than 10 modifications since the accident. The performance of the plane’s systems after the modification will be evaluated during the flights.”
Sep 12, 2017: RAINS PLAY SPOILSPORT TO SARAS FLIGHT PLANS
“There were a couple of technical issues with the aircraft that have delayed the trials and the weather too has not been conducive to carry out High Speed Taxi Trials. It has been raining non- stop every other day and due to waterlogging at the HAL Airport due to heavy downpour, it is not wise to carry out these trials,” an official said.
As per the original plan, the High Speed Taxi Trials were initially expected to be completed by the end of June and the aircraft was to take to the skies in July.
However, the official added the High Speed Taxi Trials of the aircraft would be conducted only in the first week of October now. “Upon completion of the High Speed Taxi Trials in October and after analysing various parameters, we will conduct the maiden flight of the modified SARAS,” he said.
And now ...
Dec 26, 2017: Upgraded Saras PT1N all set for maiden flight in January
The first flight could be any time during the first/second week of January 2018. What separates the PT1N now from the maiden flight are a SRB (Safety ...
The ETA for the first flight has been slipping quite steadily. In May, they thought they could do it the next month and it is atleast 6 months delayed.
I wonder what ails the Saras project. Is it funds ? Do they have some technical difficulty they couldn't overcome ?
More importantly, do we need Saras ?