Thursday, September 23, 2010

Contract Signed For IAF HPT-32 Parachute Recovery System, First Mil Deal For US Firm

I'd reported here in March about HAL's plans to give the Indian Air Force's fleet of HPT-32 basic trainer aircraft parachute recovery systems. The fast-track tender was contracted today to BRS Aerospace, possibly the only company that bid. Excerpts from what the American firm put out today:

BRS Aerospace of South St. Paul, manufacturer of whole-airplane parachutes, announced it has been contracted to integrate and help certify its parachute recovery systems for the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) HPT-32 basic training aircraft used by the Indian Air Force.

Frank Hoffmann, BRS Aerospace VP of Engineering, will travel to India immediately with a team of engineers to begin the process of adding the ballistic recovery system to the HPT-32 aircraft. "I anticipate being able to have a design ready this Fall," he says. Once BRS has completed their installation design, Hoffmann will work closely with HAL, the aircraft's manufacturer, and the Indian Air Force, to test and certify the customized whole-airframe parachute system. "The whole program is expected to be completed in a very short period of time," Hoffmann adds.

BRS Aerospace claims that its recovery systems have saved the lives of more than 255 people.

"This is a very significant milestone for not only BRS but for aviation safety as well," said Boris Popov, BRS founder and current VP of Public Affairs. "While BRS products have been successfully introduced into the civilian aviation markets for years, this is the first usage of the BRS system for the military trainer aircraft market..."

17 comments :

Anonymous said...

what is the weight of BRS!!! will it nor cause additonal load on the a/c structure and already faltering Engine?

NJS said...

Good speedy track .

ABHISHEK said...

really a good step

Anonymous said...

No more of this "fast track" bull please!

Right now IAF does not have any choice but to carry on with this HAL HPT junk. It should have been trashed long time ago and replaced with something like Pilatus PC-9 or so. How long did it take to order our VIP 737s' and a dozen of Agusta ($4 billion?). And for trainer craft we got RFI, tender, competition etc, etc, etc....

The IAF/MoD/HAL knew for a long time that Deepak has two major design flaws. When it flies upside-down the flow of fuel gets blocked, shutting the engine; and, since the Deepak cannot glide without engine power for even a short distance, a serious crash is inevitable. (http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/scrabbling-for-solutions/390823/).

We have been sitting on our hands for this long. 19 pilots died in 17 crashes. No one seemed to care.

Shame on these folks. Court marshal them for treason.

- nanovacuum (US)

Gautam said...

Bah. The smart thing to do would have been to replace these obsolete death traps with a MODERN plane. There are over a dozen options available for basic propeller trainers. But AK 'Mr.Clean' Antony and his MoD care more about giving orders to defence PSUs than taking care of the Armed Forces. So pilots crash and burn year after year, quality of training declines, and HAL keeps gloating every year about how only it should have the right to supply a replacement plane: HTT-40, in 6 years onlee! Please sacrifice a few more lives for indigenous development, IAF!

Anonymous said...

When the HPT-32's Lycoming piston engine cuts out (because of a known flaw in HAL's design), the aircraft's glide ratio is so poor a crash is almost inevitable. There have been more than 90 incidents of power loss since the Deepak entered service in 1984 and 19 fatalities in 17 crashes.

Anonymous said...

What is the issue with scarificing a few men for the overall good of the air force.We are not israel.we have unlimited suppy of manpower......unlimited.Lets go all out and find the limits of all our machines so that we know what its capable of and also streamline all defects progressively......

Som said...

Any guess on price per unit for the BRS offered to India? BRS parachute recovery system is vey common for any aero-trike or ultralight a/c and it is dirt cheap !

Anonymous said...

The concern for the pilot life is admirable but it is totally misdirected. MOD / DRDO should have expedited an urgent purchase of better trainer better still never have allowed things to come to this stage.

Lesson number one of flying is you are responsible for your life. With a chute fixed on the plane that basic principle is compromised.

Good for civilians but from a military pilot perspective no.

Gautam said...

How about we start by sacrificing you or a few of your family members, Anon @ 3:45? Maybe it would be meaningful if they died protecting the country from some threat, but throwing away their lives just so HAL's indifferent babus can continue to retain their monopoly over something and collect taxpayer-funded salary demeans both them and the nation.

Junk the HPT-32 and buy ANYTHING else. Jingos be damned and damned again.

Anonymous said...

You are entitled to your opinion.

As regards sacrificing me or my family we have made our contribution to serving our country. (Brother served in Siachen, Counter Insurgency in Rajauri, uncle captured Mao Angami the Naga Insurgent leader at the height of the Naga rebellion another family member is a Maj Gen.)

Jai Hind..

Gautam said...

And you are entitled to your opinion. But that doesn't mean it isn't an idiotic opinion.

Your family members served and risked their lives to protect the nation and its people. But who and what would they be protecting by flying in death traps that can and should be quickly replaced but are not done mainly for political reasons? Who benefits? There are no lives saved in short or long term. Only change is that HAL continues its monopoly and over-extends its limited resources on something that is so basic that no advantage can be drawn by developing it besides maybe pride.

A very poor exchange for pilots' lives.

Anonymous said...

This problem is not new. It is basic ,fundamental and fixing parachutes on planes does not fix it. Better to spend the money and pick up the trainers from the open market while we work the basic trainer RFP through.

The HP 32 engine can still shut down under certain flight maneuvers that are an important aspect of the military pilot's training.

Now you have pilots training inadequately. What kind of training is that? It will increase his inadequacy when he transitions into a supersonic HAWK and starts doing all the acrobatics that he was supposed to master on the HP 32.

Yes we need to save our lives. But this is jukad is not the way. GOI can spend the money to pick up the basic propeller trainers off the market while it works through its RFP.

There are also several engineering issues to be solved like airframe strengthening, certification. All this will take time while our pilot training suffers.

We save lives yes but do we improve combat survivability via better training no.

Maverick said...

finally! i wish it had been implemented long back .. i wouldn't have lost my friend in the 2005 crash :(

Anonymous said...

I hear the pilots in india wear nappies...is this true? and now this. Will they fit these to su-30/mig-21s as well. afterall they will face PAF.....which has caused more damage to IAF :-)

Anonymous said...

Lets not make this personal mate. Please refrain from making such mindless comments.

Anonymous said...

HPT-32 has put in more than 400000 hours of flying. More than 2000 pilots have been trained. Please do not blame people without full knowledge. Half the accidents are because of HE(Human error), half are because of engine failure! None as a result of the feared engine cut! One cannot have too many redundancies in a system for some one to fail notice everything! If the procedures are followed and proper maintenance is done the number of accidents would have been minimal. I cannot say zero because no one can play God.
How foolish of some one to say that the fuel feed stops in inverted flying! The system is designed that way! Inverted flying lasts barely 30 secs! Never ever engine cut occurred in inverted flying! Every one is as patriotic as the other one thinks himself to be and every one operates within the limitations set by the govt. If PC-9 or PC-7 is the solution let us wait and see how many accidents will be there! Not every part that was taught is essential as part of basic training.