Prayagraj: After producing structures and looms for skid-based multi-role Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv, the Naini Aerospace Limited (NAel) of the city would soon start making structures and looms for wheel-based choppers to be used by Indian Navy and Air Force.

“The skid-based multirole helicopters are used mainly by the Indian Army, and of the 300-odd Dhruv copters supplied by helicopter unit of Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL), NAeL has manufactured fuselage (the main body) of 10 helicopters in the facility at Naini unit,” said newly appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Amit Mai Srivastava. He has taken over the charge from RK Mishra, who retired on September 30.

“This state-of-the-art facility at Naini would soon be visited by a team of experts from HAL, Bengaluru, who would inspect and suggest changes to be made in the jig (the workplace where trained staff fixes units in sequence while making any product),” he added.

“We expect the team would visit this month only and if the needed alterations for manufacturing fuselage of wheel-based choppers are made in this year, we would be able to manufacture at least four fuselage for wheel-based Dhruv by March 2021,” said Srivastava.

The Naini unit of NAeL is already making looms (a bunch of wires used to transmit signals) for Dhruv and Tejas, while Isro would also be giving its approval for manufacturing looms for satellite launchers.

Helicopters are of two kinds, wheel type, having two front wheels and a nose or tail wheel, and the skid type.

Skid-type landing gear incorporates two skids with forward and aft cross tubes, on either side of the helicopter. The forward end of skids are usually bent upwards to facilitate run-on landings and close-to-ground handling. Wheel landing gear has wheels, explained Srivastava.