HAL’s Civil Aviation business got a boost with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) according an approval to HAL’s Transport Division at Kanpur for maintenance and repair of Dornier (Do-228) and Avro (HS 748) aircraft. “HAL TAD Kanpur has obtained these approvals after rigorous audit by the team of DGCA officials”, says Mr. T. Suvarna Raju, Chairman, HAL.
Last month, HAL bagged a major Defence contract for supplying 14 Do-228 aircraft to the Indian Air Force. HAL has so far produced 125 Do 228 and 89 HS 748. They are in service with Indian defence forces and others. One Do 228 was exported to Seychelles in 2013. The Government of Mauritius recently signed a contract with HAL to acquire HAL made Dornier aircraft for maritime surveillance to guard its extensive coastline.
The Kanpur Division is now DGCA approved facility for maintenance and repair of both Do 228 and HS-748 aircraft as per CAR-145. The CAR 145 was introduced on January 26, 2005 to harmonize requirements for approval of aircraft maintenance organizations with that of international requirements. The availability of type rated license holders in airframe, engine and avionics is a prerequisite for grant of these approvals apart from adequate facilities and documentation for maintenance and repair of aircraft. Since type rated license holders on these aircraft were not available in open job market, HAL’s Kanpur Division undertook DGCA approved courses in ‘A’, ‘C’, ‘E’, ‘I’ & ‘R’ categories. An oral cum practical test by DGCA was then arranged for award of type rated AME licenses to the personnel of TAD Kanpur.
HAL Do 228 (Transport Aircraft)
HAL Do-228 is a highly reliable, multi-purpose, fuel efficient, rugged, light weight twin turboprop aircraft with a retractable tricycle landing gear. The cockpit is designed to accommodate two crew members and is fitted with duplicate controls. The cabin can accommodate 19 passengers in commuter configuration. The general features are maximum take-off weight-6400 kg, maximum payload - 1903 Kg, fuel capacity- 2850 liter (2250Kg), maximum cruise speed- 428 Km/hr, service ceiling-4299 M, engines - 2 garrett TPE 331-5-252D engines each driving a four bladed reversible pitch, fully feathering propeller.
The versatility of DO-228s are due to several in-built features such as highest fuel carrying capacity in its class (2850 litres) due to integral fuel tanks in wings, low structural weight ensured through use of advanced composite materials, high wing design for unobstructed view and radar coverage, wide wheel base for better stability, short take-off and landing capability- the aircraft can take off from around 700 m and land within 575 m- essentially required for operations from short and semi-prepared airfields. The aircraft has sturdy landing gears, rectangular cabin offering more head space for passengers and mounting space for equipment in case of special mission configuration as opposed to circular cabin, low floor level and wide door for easy loading/unloading of cargo, flight openable roller door, four wing hard points for mounting of external loads up to 1030 kg. The aircraft gives optimum performance at normal cruising altitude for short haul applications enabled by the revolutionary design of wing aerofoil.
HAL has fitted several role specific equipment on this aircraft to meet the specialized requirement of its customers. HAL continuously strives through its research and design base to develop and integrate new modifications and keep the aircraft contemporary with latest technology developments
HS 748 (Transport Aircraft):
HS-748 series 2 aircraft is a pressurized all metal low wing monoplane with tricycle landing gear and is powered by two Rolls Royce Dart R.Da.7 Turbo-prop engines and Dowty Rotol propellers. A crew consisting of two pilots and one or two passenger attendants are normally carried, but provision of supernumerary crew and a navigator or radio operator can also be incorporated.
The order for the first prototype of HS-748 aircraft was placed with the erstwhile Aircraft Manufacturing Depot Kanpur and the aircraft was successfully test flown in 1962. The Division was engaged for about two decades in the manufacturing of HS-748, a medium transport aircraft in a variety of roles and models for Indian Air Force, Indian Airlines and other customers.
Out of the total 89 HS-748 aircraft for which orders were received, 67 aircraft were delivered to IAF, 17 to Indian Airlines, two to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for the calibration role, one to National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) and two to Border Security Force.
Major overhaul (Check-III Servicing) of HS-748 aircraft was started from 1980 for Indian Air Force. One hundred aircraft have been overhauled till February 2015. In addition to this refurbishing and minor repairs of HS-748 aircraft are also being carried out.