It's official. As revealed a couple of weeks ago here, India's National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) will develop the Indian Regional Transport Aircraft (IRTA), designated RTA-70 regional jet, not just as a twin turboprop as earlier believed but a common platform with two variants -- a twin turboprop and a twin turbofan. In addition, both variants will also have stretched versions designated RTA-90. The slides above are a from presentation made by NAL Director Dr AR Upadhya. With the Saras programme in one right mess, it seems a little odd that NAL is proceeding quite rapidly on the RTA programme. Even the national auditor had suggested that NAL drop plans of initiating the project without first getting its house in order as far as the Saras was concerned. It said, "Keeping in view the problems faced by NAL in HANSA and SARAS, projects relating to marketing of the aircrafts, difficulties in finding an industrial partner and lack of specialised manpower, NAL may review initiation of the new project for development of a 70 seater aircraft." And this was before the Saras crash of March 2009.