HJT - 36 takes off SR - 71 That marvellous Blackbird The magic

Document Sample
HJT - 36 takes off SR - 71 That marvellous Blackbird The magic Powered By Docstoc
					        March 2003

         HJT - 36 takes off

SR - 71: That marvellous ‘Blackbird’

     The magic of Nevil Shute
                                         Monthly Newsletter from
Aeronautical Society of India
  13-B Indraprastha Estate
                                       Aeronautical Society of India
 New Delhi 110 002, India.
 Phone: 91-011-23370516                     Vol: 2, No: 3, March 2003
  Fax: 91-011-23370768
E-mail:                                                                                            N R Mohanty
                                The Society feels privileged that the President         successful Aero India
                                Dr A P J Abdul Kalam did us the honour of being         2003 air show at
                                                                                                                    The aeronautics
                                the chief guest at the 54th Annual General              Bangalore. Some of         policy document
                                Meeting (AGM) of the Society held at Kolkata            the events that
                                                                                                                     will reflect the
                                during 20-21 January 2003. In his address at            preceded            or
                                the AGM the President urged the Society to give         accompanied the air              changed
Chief Editor                    shape to its proposed aeronautics policy and            show included the roll      perceptions and
Dr Srinivas Bhogle, NAL         re-submit it to the Government.                         out of SARAS on 4
Feature Editors                                                                         February,        com-      priorities after the
Dr R Balasubramaniam,           We will accord the highest priority to this task        mencement of the             11 September
Editor, AeSI Journal            and re-submit the revised aeronautics policy            second block of
(Technology).                   document to the Government during the current           flights of the LCA TD1
                                                                                                                    catastrophe and
Prof K Sudhakar, IIT,           year itself — colleagues will recall that the 1994      aircraft, unveiling of     respond suitably
Mumbai (Academics)
Prof P R Mahapatra,
                                draft policy document was submitted when Dr             the mock up of Light
                                                                                                                     to the new and
                                Kalam was himself the Society’s President.              Combat Helicopter
IISc, (Student Activities)
                                                                                        (LCH) by the Defence             complex
Gp Capt HC Bhatia (retd)
                                After the 11 Sep-                                       Minister Mr George             international
Secretary (Admn) (HO
                                tember catastrophe            We will accord            Fernandes,         an-
and Branch Activities)                                                                                                compulsions.
Mr Ajay Kumar, Secretary,
                                there has been a sea           the highest              nouncement of the
                                change      in    the                                   initial order for the
                                aerospace       envi-         priority to the           Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) by the Chief of
Mr V P Mathur, HAL,
Bangalore (Industry)
                                ronment. We will              preparation of            the Air Staff, new agreements signed by HAL
                                ensure that the policy                                  with French, British and Russian major
Mr Devanandham Henry,
                                document reflects the
                                                                 the final              aerospace companies and the unveiling of the
Ms R Swarnalatha, NAL           changed perceptions            aeronautics              re-engined Cheetah helicopter and the ALH
(NAL)                           and priorities and
                                                            policy document             demonstrator — with an advanced avionics
Mr Shivanandan, Jet             responds suitably to                                    package — for joint international marketing by
Airways (Airlines)              the new and complex          and re-submit it           HAL and Israel. An agreement was also signed
Mr Lalit Gupta, DGCA            international com-                to the                for the lease of the civil variant of Dhruv for
(DGCA/AAI)                      pulsions in aero-                                       operations from offshore platforms.
Mr B H Malkani, Max             space.                         Government
Aerospace & Aviation                                        during the current          We should make efforts sustain the momentum
Ltd. (Mumbai Centre)            In February 2003 we                                     that the Indian aviation fraternity has gained
Mr Janardhana, VSSC             had     the    very
                                                                year itself.            by this resurgence.
VSM, HQ, TC, IAF,                Chief Editor’s note     Starting this issue, we are discontinuing the practice of individually mailing copies
Bangalore (Armed                 of AVIA to all members of the Society. Copies of AVIA in sufficient numbers will now be transferred to all
Forces)                          branches. Members can pick up their AVIA copy from the Society’s Branch offices. The newsletter is also
Design Editor
                                 available online at or or
Mr A S Rajasekar, NAL

                        HJT-36 takes off
                                                                            The Defence Minister Mr George
                                                                            Fernandes and the Chief of the Air Staff,
                                                                            Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswa my,
                                                                            PVSM, AVSM, VM and Bar witnessed the
                                                                            inaugural flight.

                                                                            The most remarkable aspect of the HJT-36
                                                                            development has been the incredible pace
                        The HJT-36 in the course of its inaugural flight
                                                                            with which the project moved from the
                                      on 21 March 2003.
                                                                            drawing board to the skies (serious work on
                        HJT-36, the intermediate jet trainer from HAL,      the aircraft development project began less
                        has had a successful first flight at Bangalore.     than two years ago!)
                        The blue-coloured trainer, flown by Sqn Ldr
                        Baldev Singh, HAL’s Chief Test Pilot, took to       The new HJT-36 aircraft will replace the
                        the skies on 21 March 2003 a little after 10.00     ageing HJT-16 Kiran basic jet trainers of the
                        a.m. and was airborne for about 10 minutes.         Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.

5-6      September
2003                    National seminar on aircraft                         Wright Flyer Design Competition
                        maintenance                                          Participants of the Society’s design
National Conference
                                                                             competition attended a two-day workshop
on      Composites
                        A national seminar was organized on 3-4              recently at Bangalore. Readers will recall
(INCCOM 2) and
                        January 2003 by 3 BRD Air Force and RCMA             that five teams, selected from different
Twelfth National
                        (CEMILAC, DRDO), in association with the             colleges across the country, are
Seminar on Aero-
                        AeSI Chandigarh Branch, on Technological             participating in this competition to design,
space Structures (XII
                        development in aeronautics and its impact            build and fly a 1:8 (or smaller) scale model
NASAS) organized
                        on maintenance. The seminar was very well            of the Wright flyer.
by ISAMPE, Banga-
                        attended with participation from IAF, HAL,
lore Chapter, Depart-                                                        The first day of the workshop saw each team
                        BEL, PEC, CSIO, CEMILAC, ADA, ADE, NAL
ment of Aerospace                                                            making presentations on their proposed
                        and many other aeronautical establish-
Engineering, Indian                                                          strategy to build the replica of Wright Flyer.
Institute of Science                                                         A panel of experts comprising of Dr Kota
and AR&DB.                                                                   Harinarayana, Mr T Easwar, Wg Cdr P
                                                                             Ashoka, Prof G N V Rao and Prof S P
For details please                                                           Govindaraju interacted with the teams. On
contact Dr R Bala-                                                           the second day the 25 participants first
subramaniam or Mr                                                            visited an aeromodelling facility at
N G Vijaya Vittala,                                                          Bangalore and then went to the airstrip of
Organising Com-                                                              the Indian Institute of Science for an
mittee, Structures                                                           elaborate flying display.
Division, NAL, PB
                        Dr R P Bajpai, Director, CSIO, Chandigarh,           The five teams are now receiving the
1779, Bangalore 560
                        speaking at the inaugural function. Mr R P Gupta,
017. Tel: (080)                                                              necessary financial support so that they can
                        Regional Director, RCMA (standing) and Dr Kota
5086210, 5086207,                                                            actually start building their model. The
                        Harinarayana, Air Marshal V A Patkar, AVSM,
Fax: (080) 5262989,     VSM, AOM, Vayu Bhavan, New Delhi and Air Cmde        competition will culminate with their flying
email: isampe_blr@      S B Prasher, VSM, Chairman, AeSI Chandigarh          display during December 2003.
                        Branch are seen seated on the dais.                                                                                       R K Jolly and D Henry

                                                    “Good pilots must possess that
                                                    special quality called dash”
                                                    Wg Cdr (Retd) P Ashoka describes the persona of a
                                                    successful fighter pilot

Is flying an innate gift or can the skill be acquired                            What’s the difference in being a fighter pilot
with experience?                                                                 and a test pilot?

Oh, I suppose any one can learn how to fly a                                     Well, both involve challenges and risks. The
plane well if he or she has the necessary               Srinivas Bhogle, Chief   risks are different but probably of the same
motivation and the willingness to work very            Editor, spoke to Wg order. In the long run, a test flying career
hard. It obviously helps if you are naturally          Cdr P Ashoka on may entail a higher level of risk over a longer
gifted; however fighter flying and test flying         8 April 2003.             period. While the fighter pilot needs raw
require special aptitudes that not everyone may                                  courage in facing the enemy and other
have.                                                                            wartime challenges, the test pilot requires
                                                                   cool courage and equanimity to handle the risks that he
So what would you say makes a successful pilot?                    constantly faces in the execution of his test flying tasks.
                                                                   Test flying is all about bringing to bear your personality,
Many things, really. The ability to fly accurately, to push judgement, sense of proportion and that all-important
the plane to its limit, to stay cool even when things get thread of reasonableness in your flying tasks – not to
difficult, to simultaneously concentrate on a number of forget a calibrated aggression in flying.
things, giving attention to all the ‘elements’ in the right
proportion ... but, most of all, the successful pilot must really And the ability to interact intimately with the aircraft’s
love flying. Your motivation as a pilot depends on the degree design?
of real joy that you get from flying.
                                                                   Yes he must have a personality which makes interaction
Did you enjoy flying?                                              with him easy and rewarding – at all levels. The test pilot’s
                                                                   challenge lies in pushing the aircraft to its limit legitimately
Oh, immensely. That’s why I flew planes for half a century! — and not foolishly. A timid test pilot will not be able to
                                                                   explore the full capability of the aircraft, while a reckless
But you always chose the most difficult roles: first you were test pilot would push the aircraft perilously beyond safe
a fighter pilot and then you were a test pilot. Why?               boundaries. A good test pilot needs a judicious balance
                                                                   between the two.
I suppose I relished the bigger challenges. It could also be
due to the kind of education and training that I received. At Which then is the easier role: fighter or test pilot?
the National Defence Academy (NDA) we received the most
marvellous instruction ... even now those old memories are A good pilot could perform both roles successfully whereas
so stirring and overwhelming . I’ve still not forgotten our a bad pilot might fail in both. But to succeed in either of the
morning prayer! And then at the Empire Test Pilots School two roles one needs that certain intangible, but magical,
in Farnborough, UK, they really grilled us very hard. We quality called “dash”. It is something not easy to define and
could be flying many different types of planes on any given yet easy to detect. The closest approximation could be
day with virtually no help from anyone! We were therefore “daring”. To be a successful test or fighter pilot what is really
trained rather rigorously for the different challenges that needed – other than flying ability – is this quality called
lay ahead in a test flying career.                                 “dash”, tempered with prudence.

What would you consider to be the pilot’s most                                   till the fear goes away. Till you know that you
difficult flying challenge: formation flying?
                                                          Although it looks      can do it without the slightest hesitation. There
                                                               absolutely        are profound rewards in meeting such
Although it looks absolutely spectacular,
                                                              spectacular,       challenges; in particular there is greater and
formation flying isn’t as difficult as it seems to                               greater confidence in one’s ability to tackle
be. The pilot flying in a formation must                   formation flying      difficult and potentially risky flying tasks
essentially follow the leader. All the time the          isn’t as difficult as   successfully.
pilot is making minor adjustments: a little more
to the left, to the right, to the left ... or ... open      it seems to be.      And when you think that you have conquered
throttle a little, close a little, open throttle again                           that fear, could you turn complacent?
a little ... you know, that sort of thing. However,
formation aerobatics, like our Surya Kirans do,                                  No pilot, however talented or capable, can
requires tremendous skill and precision.                                         afford to turn complacent. Don’t forget that
                                                                                 flying is tough business: if you crash, you die!
… Or flying in bad weather?                                                      Never take your aircraft for granted. I remember
                                                                                 when I had to fly different types of aircraft on a
There are really two major problems while                                        single day, I always took time off to mentally
flying in bad weather: first, the visual reference                               get attuned to the different cockpits and other
is missing when you are inside the clouds and,                                   characteristics of every aircraft.
second, there could be severe turbulence.
                                                                                 Can we talk of the greatest pilot of all time?
Which is the bigger worry?                                                       The Don Bradman among pilots?

Turbulence by itself is usually the smaller                                      That would be only a romantic idea. Look, there
worry. It can of course be very disconcerting                                    are a lot of very good pilots - and I feel very
... it’s as if the atmosphere is kicking you, and                                proud that our IAF has so many of them - but I
you have to fight with the controls to stay                                      don’t believe that pilots can be compared. We
steady. But, controlling an aircraft inside the                                  can certainly differentiate between good and
clouds can be much more difficult.                                               bad pilots, but that’s about it.

Let me see if I can explain this to you: when                                    How does a trained eye distinguish between
you walk, the visual reference and gravity                                       good and bad pilots?
provide you with a sense of balance. But when
you are flying, and have lost your visual                                        All good pilots show a high level of motivation
reference to the horizon, there is often an epic                                 as well as a level of thoroughness in their flying.
battle between your physiological signals and                                    You can see their confidence and notice it in
your instruments. Your instruments tell you that                                 the way that they take off and land. They
you are straight, but every human instinct that                                  anticipate problems and so are prepared to
you possess seems to tell you - again and again           Most of all, the       handle them. Just as when you are driving a
- that you are not straight at all; that you are                                 car around hairpin bends on a narrow
turning violently. Our proclivity to trust our            successful pilot       mountain road, the only way to avoid a collision
instincts is very, very strong; it requires               must really love       is to expect head on traffic at every bend and
extraordinary discipline and mental strength to                                  keep meticulously to your side.
fight off these instincts and implicitly trust your
                                                            flying. Your
instruments.                                             success as a pilot      You must be the idol of many pilots.

You have to conquer that fear.                            depends on the         I have had a most enjoyable and rewarding
                                                                                 flying career. But we shouldn’t make too much
                                                         degree of real joy
Absolutely. In many ways, that’s what being a                                    of a song and dance about this. The real heroes
good pilot is all about: you must conquer your           that you get from       are elsewhere – giving their lives fighting for
fear. If something is bothering or worrying you,               flying.           the country or dedicating their entire life in the
do it again and again … 10, 20 or 100 times …                                    service of others.

                               Revised edition of Advanced Composite Materials
                               The revised version of the popular book on        the AR&DB, endeavours to provide up-to-date
                               Advanced Composite Materials by Lalit Gupta       information on materials, processes and
Graphic designer:              (who is also the Hon Treasurer of the Society’s   applications of composite materials with
Vaishali Vinay                 Delhi Branch) was launched in January 2003        specific reference to the aircraft industry. The
                               and presented to the President Dr A P J Abdul     book should prove to be a complete and
Circulation and                Kalam at the Society’s 54th AGM in Kolkata.       comprehensive reference source for students,
logistic support:
                                                                                 designers and practicing engineers in
J Vinayagam
Chandrika R Krishnan.          The 2003 edition of the book, supported by        aviation.

                               Firing the children’s imagination
                                                          Aviation holds         That’s why I thought that it was wonderful
                                                          such a fasci-          of Phil Condit, Chairman and CEO of Boeing,
                                                          nation for school      to take time off to tell seventh grade science
                                                          children that I        school children how to make their “airplane
                                                          think that it is our   fly better”. Condit discussed the four
                                                          bounden duty to        principles of flight and used paper and balsa
      Address for
                               go all out and respond to the curiosity of        wood airplanes to help illustrate these
 Aeronautical Society of
                               young minds about aeronautics. It never           concepts to the young students.
India, New Thippasandra        ceases to amaze me how Indian children from              Devasis Chowdhury, GM (Mktg), HAL.
Post, Bangalore 560075.        such diverse places as Koraput and Mulund
Phone: 91-080-5273851          have so much interest in aeronautics.             2002/december/i_nan.html
 Fax: 91-080-5297159

                                                                                  Aero Fete 1999

                                                                                  We all knew that the microlight flying event
27 December 1948                                                                  would be one of the highlights of the Aero
                                                                                  Fete organized by the Bangalore Branch in
                       Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru formally inaugurated the           October 1999. But few of us realized that
                       Aeronautical Society of India Society at the Puttanna      this was going to be a record-breaking event!
                       Chetty Town Hall, Bangalore on 27 December 1948.
                       We reproduce below an extract from his speech that         At 7.40 a.m. on 18 October 1999, Wg Cdr
                       day.                                                       (retd) U K Palat jumped out of his microlight
                                                                                  vehicle from a height of 8000 feet. This was
                       “The chief object of my visit to Bangalore has been        a new record in para jumping from a
                       to inaugurate the Aeronautical Society of India. It        microlight.
                       seems to me an odd thing that while we talk more
                       and more about India’s development in aeronautics,         The Bangalore Branch feels proud to be
                       our lives have somehow not been influenced by the          associated with this record-breaking effort
                       air.....The Aeronautical Society of India will help to     that has now entered the Limca Book of
                       inculcate in the mind of the technically qualified         Records ( p 471, Limca Book of Records
                       people for all the manifold things that a productive       2003). / Wg Cdr (retd) A E Patrawalla, GM
                       country has to do”.                                        (Overhaul), HAL and General Secretary, AeSI
                                                                                  Bangalore Branch.

                                                                                  The magic of Nevil Shute
                                                                                               Nevil Shute, among the most
SR-71 Blackbird                                                                                loved and best read authors
                                                                                               of the earlier half of the last
Designed by Clarence “Kelly”              surfaces above each engine                           century, wrote several
Johnson, SR-71 Blackbird is still         nacelle, ailerons on the outer wings                 delightful books with
one of the world’s most impressive,       and elevators on the trailing edges                  aviation as the backdrop,
advanced strategic reconnaissance         between the engine exhaust              with his autobiographical Slide Rule
aircraft ever built and holds the         nozzles. The dies or moulds were        probably being the best of the lot.
record for the fastest air-breathing      destroyed to prevent any other
aircraft. First flown on Dec. 22,         nation from building the aircraft.      Shute transports the reader to the life and
1964 it was delivered to the                                                      times, and exploits, of a ‘Handley Page’ or
Strategic Air Command at Beale            Each SR-71 cost US$ 33 million to       a ‘Fairey Fawn’ or a ‘Sopwith Dove’.
AFB, California in January 1966.          build. 21 out of the total of 32 SR-    Humane, alive, touching, endearing,
                                          71’s built are still in existence.      unpretentious and informative, his book are
Blackbird is a formidable machine                                                 truly to be treasured. Besides Slide Rule, the
weighing 77 tons (about 1/5 the           The cameras on the aircraft are so      other titles that are a must-read are Stephen
weight of a typical B-747). Its           good that they can photograph a         Morris, Round the Bend, Trustee from the
length is 33 m and wingspan is            golf ball on the green from 80,000      Tool Room, In the Wet and On the Beach.
17 m. Powered by two P&W J-58             feet. The cameras can survey            For all about Nevil Shute and his books, visit
engines, each delivering a thrust of      110,000 square miles of the Earth’s
nearly 14 tonnes, it has an               surface per hour. So in just two                                       R Swarnalatha
unrefuelled range of 3200 km,             hours it could survey a country the
ceiling of 26 km (the typical cruise      size of France, something the           “Most of my adult life, perhaps all the worthwhile
altitude of B-747 is 11 km) and a         existing reconnaissance platforms       part of it, has been spent messing about with
maximum speed of 3710 km/h. Its           cannot do. Although the                 aeroplanes. Kenneth Grahame once wrote that
engines are so powerful that at full      technology is roughly 30 years old,     ‘there is nothing, absolutely nothing-half so
afterburner they produce a                no unmanned vehicle or satellite        much worth doing as simply messing about in
diamond shockwave 125 feet long.          is able to accomplish precisely the     boats.’ With that I would agree yet for a fleeting
                                          same type of missions: quickly          period in the world’s history I think that
It was the first true stealth aircraft.   getting detailed photographic           aeroplanes ran boats a very close second for
The airframe is built almost              information of hot spots developing
                                                                                  enjoyment. For about 30 years there was a period
entirely of titanium (imported from       anywhere in the world! The other
                                                                                  when aeroplanes would fly when you wanted
USSR!) and titanium alloys to             hallmark of this aircraft is the lack
                                                                                  them to but there were still fresh things to be
withstand heat (600-900ºF)                of a practical defence system
                                                                                  learned on every flight, a period when aeroplanes
generated by sustained Mach 3             capable of stopping it. Blackbird
flight. Composite materials are           was an unarmed aircraft. In 1981,       were small and easily built so that experiments
used in its construction. The black       Kelly Johnson claimed that even         were cheap and new designs could fly within
paint used on the aircraft made the       though there were over 1000             six months of the first glimmer in the mind of
aircraft fly 75ºF cooler than an          missile launches against it, none       the designer. That halcyon period started about
unpainted airframe and had some           were successful; even a Russian         the year 1910 and it was in full flower when I
radar absorbing properties.               MiG-25 pilot chasing this aircraft      was a young man; it died with the second war
Aerodynamic control surfaces              was unsuccessful.                       when aeroplanes had grown too costly and
consist of all-moving vertical tail                                               complicated for individuals to own or even to
                                          This great aeronautical marvel was      operate. I count myself lucky that that fleeting
    In just two hours the                 retired in March 1990 owing to its      period coincided with my youth and my young
                                          huge operating costs of around
    SR-71 could survey a                  $200,000 dollars per hour. NASA
                                                                                  manhood, and that I had a part in it.”
                                                                                                          Nevil Shute in Slide Rule
  country the size of France,             however still operates three SR-71
                                          for research. / M S Rajamurthy


Shared By: