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Bangalore: The first flight of Advanced Light Helicopter (wheeled version) with segmented MRBs (Main Rotor Blades) and MRH (Main Rotor Head) in pre-cone configuration was carried out in Bangalore, according to an official statement issued by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Thursday.

The flight was carried out by Wing Cdr Unni Pillai, ED (CTP-RW).

The two-segment Main Rotor Blades (MRBs) and pre-cone configuration of Main Rotor Head (MRH) are developed to address the stringent stowage dimension requirement specified by the Indian Navy and to improve the Time Between Overhauls (TBO) life of the Main Gear Box, said R Madhavan, Chairman and Managing Director, HAL in an official statement.

On completion of mandated ground testing of various factors, the prototype helicopter was built with 'Segmented Pre-Cone MRBs' and 'Pre-Cone MRH'. The RTB runs, Ground Resonance test and Clamped Power Ground Run were carried out to be found satisfactory, the statement read.

The Indian Navy and Coast Guard are operating ALH for the last 18 years supporting their operations for various missions. However, the ship deck-based operations of ALH have been limited as the storage size required for ALH exceeds the hangar sizes available in Navy ships, the statement said.

The segmented blade feature reduces the folded length and width of ALH making it compatible with the hangar space available on most Indian Navy ships. Further, the time required for folding or unfolding operations is reduced, it added.

Arup Chatterjee, Director (Engg. and Research and Development), HAL also said the project was carried out in the shortest possible time with the support of RCMA and DGQA.