DRDO Statement: Tejas Limited Series Production - 7 (LSP-7) aircraft took-off for its maiden flight from HAL airport at 4:27 pm on 9th March 2012. This test flight is significant for the program, as LSP -7 build-standard is close to the initial operational clearance (IOC) standard. Accordingly LSP -7 aircraft, along with LSP - 8 will be offered to the Indian Air Force for user evaluation trials (UET). The flight was also significant considering the fact that for the first time “Production Test Schedule” was used for the first flight of an LSP aircraft in this program. This is also the first time that maiden flight of the aircraft was not accompanied by the customary ‘chase’ aircraft, which is an indicator to the level of confidence in the machine. The flight lasted 28 minutes with Gp Capt KK Venugopal at the controls in the cockpit and Wg Cdr Kabadwal of the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC) as Test Director in the telemetry. During the test flight, performance of the aircraft systems including Multi-mode Radar (MMR), Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS), Auto-pilot and Instrument Landing System (ILS) was satisfactory, providing a moment of pride for all the stake holders which include ADA, HAL, IAF, CEMILAC, DG AQA, ADE and NAL among others.
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