BANGALORE: The National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Bangalore and Mesco Aerospace Limited have signed a collaborative agreement for the design, development, production and marketing of the two-seat Hansa-Next Generation (Hansa-NG) aircraft, which NAL claims which help ease the availability of indigenous aircraft for pilot training to obtain private and commercial pilot licenses.

The collaboration has been approved by the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)—under which NAL operates—and the aircraft, NAL claimed, will be ready for first flight in the next 11 to 13 months.

“The plane will be certified under the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for commercial flights by March 2020. Post certification, the Hansa NG shall be manufactured by Mesco Aerospace under a license agreement,” a statement issued by NAL read.

Mesco would also set-up a service centre for Hansa and undertake marketing in India and abroad. As per the recent market reports, the immediate market potential for two-seat aircraft in India is about 70-80 aircraft.

“The targeted selling cost of the aircraft would be around Rs 80 lakh for the basic version and Rs 1 crore for the fully loaded version. The Hansa-NG can also be used in bird reconnaissance at airfield, cadet training, coastal surveillance and hobby flying in the country,” the statement read.

So far, NAL has built 14 production version Hansa-3 aircraft from 2001 to 2010 out of which 11 were delivered to DGCA, one aircraft to IIT-Kanpur and two aircraft are with NAL out of which one has been leased to Mesco during the 2017 Aero India.

“Now, NAL and Mesco will modify Hansa-3 aircraft by incorporating new technologies and bring out Hansa-NG, which will satisfy the requirements of flying clubs for obtaining PPL (Personal Pilot License) & CPL (Commercial Pilot License) by the young generation,” the statement read.

The modifications that are planned are: Use of an advanced engine with better fuel consumption, changing the instrument panel from analogue instruments to digital display system, increasing the range and endurance by reducing the airframe weight and drag, reducing the pilot load by changing the mechanically operated flaps to electrical operation, aircraft steering operation to be made simple by introducing steerable nose wheel, providing heated pitot for IFR compliance, LED lights, provision for baggage, ergonomically designed doors for better ingress and egress and improvement in interior aesthetics.