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Home arrow News arrow Aerospace arrow C-NM5 from CSIR-NAL and Mahindra Aerospace makes its maiden flight
C-NM5 from CSIR-NAL and Mahindra Aerospace makes its maiden flight Print E-mail
Written by Arjun   
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Mumbai: The C-NM5 aircraft, jointly developed by India's CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories and Mahindra Aerospace, had a successful maiden flight, marking an important milestone in India's first public-private partnership in aircraft development.

Engineers from CSIR-NAL and Mahindra Aerospace spent close to three years designing this all-new aircraft using cutting-edge design and analysis tools. The prototype was built over a 10 month period by the rapid prototyping team at GippsAero in their facilities near Melbourne, Australia. Flight testing is being performed at GippsAero by a professionally-trained test pilot supported by GippsAero’s flight test team.

"This is not only a pioneering public-private partnership for India, but also symbolizes the globalized nature of the technological knowledge pool from which we can all draw from and contribute to, leading to execution excellence," said Prof. Samir Brahmachari, Director General, CSIR, and Secretary, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.

The C-NM5 is a 5-seat all-metal aircraft powered by a Lycoming IO-540 engine, and features non-retractable landing gear and a spacious cabin with large access doors. The cabin interior is reconfigurable to adapt the aircraft to different roles, while simplicity of systems and ease of maintenance are design drivers throughout the aircraft.

The 45-minute first flight on the 1st of September tested basic handling of the aircraft. Subsequent flights have evaluated aircraft stability and control in different flight regimes. Developmental flight testing and evaluations are continuing, with the ultimate objective of achieving Type Certification in keeping with international regulatory standards, followed by a global sales and marketing programme. It is expected to achieve FAR Part 23 certification in another six months or so

"I am delighted to see the CSIR-NAL + MAPL partnership deliver the fruits of their endeavour in a manner that augurs well for more such projects and which will provide the impetus for the development of a world class indigenous aerospace industry in India . I look forward to building on the pioneering efforts of my predecessor Dr. Upadhyaya who mentored this partnership" said Mr Shyam Shetty, Director CSIR-NAL.

"It gives us great pride to see our first indigenous effort, the C-NM5, developed along with the CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, complete its maiden flight. A partnership that will enable India to Rise – to the skies! This project is part of Mahindra’s goal to provide transportation and connectivity solutions to communities everywhere. My congratulations to our teams in India and Australia for successfully executing India’s first public-private partnership in aircraft development," said Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra Group.

The C-NM5 complements Mahindra Aerospace's growing family of light utility aircraft that are designed to meet the latest global standards, while operating in environments with limited infrastructure at extremely low costs per seat mile.  Once ready, each aircraft is expected to cost around $400,000 (about Rs2 crore).

"The C-NM5's first flight symbolizes our commitment to taking a concept from dream to reality. This is the first flight on a journey which we hope will take us far into the utility aircraft space and help us fulfil a need in developing economies world-wide. A journey that would not have come as far, were it not for the teamwork between our strong technological partners, CSIR-NAL, our experienced colleagues in Mahindra Aerospace and its Australian subsidiary GippsAero" said Hemant Luthra, Chairman, Mahindra Aerospace Pvt. Ltd.

Mahindra Aerospace was formed in 2008 to lead the Mahindra Group’s foray into the global Aerospace components, assemblies and aerostructures manufacturing on one hand and utility aircraft on the other. In 2009, MAPL acquired Aerostaff Australia and GippsAero (formally Gippsland Aeronautics), both based in Australia. With an overall investment commitment in excess of US$100 Mn, MAPL is steadily expanding its portfolio in both aircraft and aerostructures, and has started work on developing a major aerostructures manufacturing facility in India. Its fixed-wing aircraft portfolio will soon expand to include multiple models in the 2-20 seat class, with both single engine and twin-engine aircraft on offer. Its aerostructures capability will offer multiple sourcing options leveraging global best practices in two continents.

 
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