After demonstrating ten spins on August 4, and completing night sorties over the last couple of days, the HTT-40 (Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40) trainer aircraft, that has been built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), is ready for certification clearances. Intended to replace the HPT-32 (Hindustan Piston Trainer), the HTT-40 is a basic training aircraft developed for the first stage of the training of rookie pilots in the Indian Air Force. In stage two, they graduate to flying the Kiran Mark II trainer jet while the third stage involves training on the Hawk advanced trainer aircraft.
The Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 is an all-metal, tandem seat aircraft powered by a 1,100 hp (820 kW) turboprop engine. In early 2012 the company forecast building 106 examples. By the middle of 2012 the aircraft’s future was in doubt as the Indian Air Force ordered 75 Pilatus PC-7 Mk IIs to fill the role envisioned for the HTT-40. In September 2012 the Indian Air Force indicated that it had formally rejected the HTT-40 for service based on its cost per aircraft being double that of the Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer Mk II, a proven aircraft, already in service worldwide.
Once the HTT-40 started flying, the Indian Air Force commander publicly stated that IAF will buy the HTT-40 in large numbers. On 28 February 2015, it was reported that the Indian defense ministry had selected 68 HAL HTT-40 trainers and 38 Pilatus trainers to replace its current trainer fleet, stating that this move was “commercially viable”. On 21 June 2015, HAL chose the Honeywell Garrett TPE331-12B turboprop to power the trainer. HAL rolled out the first prototype on 2 February 2016 and it first flew on 31 May 2016. In July 2019 it was anticipated that initial operational clearance would be reached by end of 2019.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is an Indian state-owned aerospace and defence company, headquartered in Bangalore (Bengaluru), India. Established on 23 December 1940, HAL is one of the oldest and largest aerospace and defence manufacturers in the world today. HAL began aircarft manufacturing as early as 1942 with licensed production of Harlow PC-5, Curtiss P-36 Hawk and Vultee A-31 Vengeance for the Indian Air Force. HAL is currently involved in designing and manufacturing of fighter jets, helicopters, jet engine and marine gas turbine engine, avionics, software development, spare supply, overhauling and upgrading of Indian military aircraft.