Armed with a professional market survey that envisages a demand for around 100 two-seater aircraft in the coming few years, the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) institution, has announced the roll-out of HANSA-NG, a new generation HANSA two-seater aircraft. The aircraft is equipped with Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)-compliant avionics with smart multi-functional displays, a glass cockpit and a bubble canopy design. Its power plant will be the highly efficient, digitally controlled Rotax 912 ISC engine.

Rotax 912 ISC Engine
With the HANSA-NG having obtained type certification from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in 2020, the manufacturing of the aircraft was initiated by NAL in September 2020. The upgraded trainer’s flight test trials, according to Jitendra J. Jadhav, Director, NAL, are scheduled to start later this month.

HANSA-NG is an upgraded version of the two-seater HANSA aircraft. Designed and developed by NAL, the HANSA saw its first flight in 1993 and was certified in 2000. Between 2000 and 2007, NAL developed 12 HANSA aircraft, all of which were delivered to flying clubs across India through the DGCA. The HANSA has logged more than 4,000 flying hours in all. IIT-Kanpur is still flying the aircraft.

Jadhav said that the Centre sanctioned the HANSA-NG project in 2018. Said Jadhav: “That we already have 35 letters of intent (LoI) from flying clubs for the purchase of the new aircraft is reflective of the quality of the aircraft.” Jadhav claimed that the HANSA-NG will cost less and have superior performance capabilities compared with any contemporary aircraft of a similar class.

NAL has identified MESCO Aerospace Ltd as one of its production partners for the HANSA-NG. Officials at NAL disclosed that MESCO Aerospace Ltd had a role, albeit small, in the two-seater aircraft’s design and development right from the start of the programme. Jadhav confirmed to Frontline that NAL had also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with BEML Limited, the defence public sector enterprise, for the manufacture of the HANSA-NG. “At the moment it is only an MoU. Further discussions are slated to take place shortly on the possibility of BEML getting involved in the production of the HANSA-NG. We will definitely need more than one production house if we are to manufacture the number of HANSA-NGs we need in quick time. We are also looking at exporting the aircraft.”

Aside from the 35 LoIs, NAL has also signed an MoU with the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA) to be the launch customer of HANSA-NG for pilot training. Said Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation: “This is a matter of pride for Indian aviation. Now that the roll-out has been done, NAL will need to begin flight tests. We are suggesting that after the initial months of tests in Bengaluru, the aircraft be moved to Amethi [where IGRUA is based] for testing.”