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Wednesday, January 24, 2001

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PTAE-7 jet engine trial successful

By Our Staff Reporter

BANGALORE, JAN. 23. The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) today announced the successful trial of the indigenously-designed and developed remote-controlled PTAE-7 jet engine and the state-of- the-art jet fuel starter (JFS) fitted in the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), with the JFS demonstrating its starting capability on the main engine of the LCA during its maiden flight.

With the success of PTAE-7, the first turbo jet engine developed in the country, India joined a select group of nations, including the United States, Russia, France and the U.K. that have developed this class of engine.

Designed and developed by the Engine and Test Bed Research and Design Centre, Engine Division, HAL, Bangalore, the jet engine will power the pilotless target aircraft, Lakshya, developed by the ADE.

Lakshya is to be used for ground-air, air-air and ship-air missile target practice. The flight is commanded from the ground by telemetry and the aircraft can be recovered by parachute, both in land and water. The aircraft is provided with two targets on a 1.5 km-cable, and in case of emergency, auto recovery is possible. The maximum flight time is 50 minutes and a maximum life of 10 recoveries is envisaged.

PTAE-7 is a single shaft, lightweight, low-cost, short-life engine. The engine comprises a four-stage transonic axial compressor, a single-stage turbine, an annular flow combustion chamber and 16 fuel flow burners.

The PTAE-7 develops a thrust of 380 kg.f at ISA sea level static conditions with a specific fuel consumption of 1.15 kg./kg.f/hr. It has a length of 1,270 mm. and a maximum diameter of 330 mm., and weighs 65 kg. The engine is designed with materials and features for protection against seawater corrosion so that it can be used again after its recovery from sea.

Two of the engines were tested successfully three times at Balasore in Orissa in December. Each time, the engine was recovered from the sea, refurbished and re-run on the ground.

According to HAL officials, most of the critical qualification tests for the JFS have been completed. On completion of the tests, flight clearance was given for it in LCA, TD1 and TD2 aircraft for development flight trials.

Designed and developed by HAL's Engine and Test Bed Research and Design Centre, the JFS (GTSU-110) has the capability to provide inflight starting of the LCA main engine up to an altitude of 6 kms. The JFS also demonstrated its capability to start at Leh, the highest altitude airport in the world, during extreme cold conditions.

The designs were initiated by Mr. T.V. Vareed, founder and erstwhile Chief Designer of the Engine Design Bureau.

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