Thursday, November 04, 2010

DRDO Conducts First Successful Flight Test Of Kaveri Engine

The photo above shows the Il-76 test bed with the Kaveri K9 turbofan at the Gromov Flight Research Institute on Wednesday. Just received the following statement from DRDO (in full):

The indigenously designed and developed Kaveri Engine was successfully flight tested by DRDO yesterday during the Flying Test Bed (FTB) Trials at Gromov Flight Research Institute (GFRI), Moscow, Russia. The engine was tested from take-off to landing and flew for a period of over one hour up to at an altitude of 6000m at a speed of 0.6 mach on its maiden flight. The engine control, engine performance and engine health during the flight were found to be excellent. With this test, Kaveri Engine has completed a major milestone of the development program. During the coming months further 50-60 test flights will be carried out to mature the engine in terms of reliability, safety and airworthiness. These trials would pave the way for further flight trials of Kaveri engine with a fighter aircraft.

An existing Il-76 aircraft was modified as a Flying Test Bed for this trial, with Kaveri engine replacing one of the four engines of the aircraft. The modifications included instrumentation required for trials as well as integration of mechanical, electrical and fuel system. The engine was controlled by the pilot from the cockpit. A number of taxi trials were carried out with Kaveri Engine integrated with the aircraft, before this maiden flight. The engine data was recorded in the aircraft as well as transmitted to ground station by telemetry.

A team of 20 scientists from Gas Turbine Research Establishment, DRDO, have been working along with GFRI for these trials. Dr Prahlada, Chief Controller, R&D (Aeronautics & Services Interaction) briefed the Media about the significance of the first flight.

Kaveri engine is being developed for fighter aircraft at India's Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), a DRDO laboratory based in Bangalore with the active support of several other DRDO labs, academic institutions and industry partners. During the development phase, Kaveri engine has successfully completed various stages of development including component testing, safety tests, ground based engine tests, endurance tests etc, both at GTRE as well as test facilities abroad.


Anonymous said...

Already india gave the order for GE engines. Instead of wasting time and money on this engine. lets buy more GE engines. Problem Resolved.
I dont really think any use of this GE Reverse engineered engine.

DRDO / GTRE will do the same testing after 30 yrs also....dont waste tax payers money...

Aravind said...

research is always a key to a country to reach high prosperous on tech & self reliance growth ,though it doesn't power lca it is intended to power amca

nothing is waste but our knowledge over this critical tech is improving (tech wich powers not only aircrafts but also ships,future mbt's... etc)

Angelisben said...

Perhaps we can develop a high bye-pass ratio turbofan for the regional transport aircraft or medium transport aircraft using the K-9 core, since GTRE-snecma Engine has been destined for tejas mk-3 and AMCA programs.

Has a turboprop engine ever been developed in India?

Anonymous said...

I am gonna frame this photo!!!! a small step for DRDO,, a giant leap for INDIA!!!

Anonymous said...

This is a giant leap for Indian capabilities. It took 15 years for France to develop its technology with v.generous schooling by GE and PW.

Tejaswy said...

That is good news.

May be we can use Kaveri for MCA and may be LCA Mac 2 in the later versions.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly what I meant when i said indigenous effort to develop a robust aerospace industry must continue regardless of the number of failures. If we had abandoned Kaveri engine when it failed its initial tests, we would have lost the opportunity to compile critical data and experience, which are essential in order to build and operate turbofan engines. Research is a trial and error process at its core. Only after multiple failures can a lab come up with a successful design. As I said before, we must be patient with DRDO and related labs, as one cannot put a price tag on experience and knowledge.



Anonymous said...

well don't hope its waste bcoz it spawn a family of turbines which will spawn across power generations on board ship ...critical power nodes, supply area....this just a start of a very long journey

Anonymous said...

@Anon 4.41 STFU Paki. Go to your Paki Defense Forum.

Congrats DRDO and GTRE, another feather in your cap.

Anonymous said...

Tejeas (crap) - MK1 - MK2 - MK3 what next ?
Do you think IAF is going to use it ?
IAF ordered it due to pressure.

Kunal said...


This news from you has really sweetened every Indian's Diwali this year. The nation's heartiest congratulations go out to the scientists n engineers of GTRE/DRDO. Indeed a great critical achievement. What we are eagerly waiting to hear next is ISRO's toil n labor with the indigenous cryogenic engine to bear fruit.

I wish the GoI gives these poor scientists n engineers some really hefty Diwali Bonus plus a spl. certificate of appreciation.

India will be amongst the 5/6 countries in the world to have this capability.

Long live Indo-French-Russian-Israeli co-operation.

Gautam said...

The jingo idiots are already starting the hype about putting it on Tejas mk.2 and AMCA and so on...

Keep in mind that the Kaveri still has a LONG way to go. This is only the beginning of flight tests. It will only be certified after a couple of years testing. Then it has to be integrated on Tejas and tested, that will take another couple of years. Finally this version of Kaveri is only the 81kN underpowered version that was designed for the Tejas mk.1. Developing an uprated 95kN version for the mk.2 and AMCA can only proceed after this finishes all tests, all in all it'd be a 6-10 year project.

The IAF did the right thing in not compromising the LCA program for the Kaveri's sake. Let GTRE take their sweet time on their pet project.

keshto said...

Kaveri is a low bypass ratio with a satisfactory, and not excellent TWR (7.8:1), not adequate for LCA, hence GE F414 became an ideal candidate (choosen) for mark-II platform.

Its time India brings out high bypass ratio motor with brut power and force by reducing the weight of engine with composites or otherwise(since each pound of engine weight is responsible for it). Increase the RIT which contributes to an engine’s high thermal efficiency and high thrust-to-weight.

After Apx half a billion dollars spent on Kaveri, India is still buying GE maal!

Que lastima seniores!

Mr. Ra said...

Well done GTRE and DRDO.

I hope this and improved versions of Kaveri may be used on all the parallel versions of LCA, AMCA and even the SLCA (Stealth LCA).

Anonymous said...

anon@6:32 PM
you are a RATshaker. Just because someone has a view different to yours, doesnt mean its wrong. Learn to live with it and not be a RAT.

Anonymous said...

Shiv, can you get some more details about the flight tests. Is it the K9+ engine or the K-10 or variant of Kaveri with the Snecma M88-2 core?

And to all those who are criticizing. You have no clue what it takes to build a whole system. Either you all are not engineers or if you are engineers you dont understand what it takes to build something of the scale of an aircraft engine. Learn to respect the effort put in by all those scientists and engineers at DRDO.

Karthik Soundarajan said...

Call me paranoid but i fear vested interest in the Russian defense industry may not want to see this succeed!! I hope nothing bad like a sabotage takes place during testing!!

Either way this is Awesome news and congrats to GTRE.

Shiv thanks for this great bit that on Diwali, yours is the best blog out there on defense!

Happy Diwali to all and Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Gautam @ 7:57 PM

While what you are saying is technically correct and that includes your previous post too, but just think for a while the critical breakthrough n morale booster achieved for those poor folks at GTRE who have been facing the brickbats all this while. This is certainly their moment n India's to celebrate.

Anonymous said...

Well done GTRE/DRDO...Take a bow, this is a big moment that should be remembered, I hope they get a nice bonus for all the hard work.

Though I wish the test took place on Indian soil it still is the birth of an epowering knowledge that over the decades should create knowledge networks and a more savvy India.

10/4 out

Sardar Ram Singh porkychinki farker said...

To all those who are critical, and seem to know how many more years it will take before an Indian engine can fly a fighter jet, I have one reply, Have you forgotten how many years if took after your mother gave birth to you for you to grow up and be able to talk like this?????? So just learn to speak properly

Anonymous said...

Good news!

Your starting point may not highlight the end destination.

Imagine, if K can loose weight (substantially), it probably would have good use in twin engine a/c.
Of course, shedding some weight and increasing power output (changing core?) would always be welcome.

And, yes, K still has some way to go. Can not agree with the first comment (on this topic) or the similar ones at all.

By the way, can there be some serious management reorg at ada, gtre, hal etc?

- nanovacuum (US)

Anonymous said...

Wow great news for Diwali. For Twin engined MCA it might be usefull although 81 kn*2 is still less for a fifth Gen.Shiv any news on that regards? . Eager to know, any body is going to use Kaveri in this format

Anonymous said...

Good news ?

I am reminded of a very bad song which was very popular - for all the wrong reasons - in the early 1990s

"Aati nahin, aati nahin
Saamne hai parr nazar..

aati nahin"

Gautam said...

To the nasty Sardar

I was pointing out how silly it would be to cheer and giggle like kids for every single tiny milestone and get ahead of ourselves. Kaveri completing its initial tests is a long way from Kaveri successfully powering a fighter.

Debbie said...

Congrats to all involved!

And to all Sino/Paki trolls, here's something that should sound familiar:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Hrishikesh said...

This is great news especially against the background that in the previous round of high altitude tests the engine didnt do so well. The engine might have been late for Tejas program but applications are manifold - UCAV, UAV and possibly MCA. And of course there is nothing like the capability and confidence of indigenous technology. A red letter day for Indian defence R&D and the right Deepavali gift for all the defence enthusiasts.

Ben - Yours truly said...

Next diwali, my rocket to use indigenous k-9 engine. cheers said...

Mera Bharat Mahan contrats to GTRE & DRDO keep it up God bless

Anonymous said...

Debbie @ 2.04

I am not Paki or chinky.

Worked with DRDO for few yrs.

Dude do you know that this engine is a piece by piece reverse engineered original GE engines procured for the LCA and it took 20 yrs for a successful flight testing instead they can buy that engine in large numbers from GE itself.
Just by reinventing the wheel or reverse engineering India is not going to gain anything. end of the day India is going to order more engines from GE, is that the end result of this successful testing ?

The problem is with the recruitment of the people and the work culture.
At-least in DRDO/ISRO/HAL recruit by competitive exams and qualification and not by Caste/reservation.
Sponsoring in high profile institute like IIT Karagpur one phd sheet in Aeronautics is also reserved.
All the big belly's and pan parag dumbos sitting in the DRDO should be fired first.
Complete revamp required by result oriented.
No funding if no result.

Tax payer

Vikram Jain said...

Congratulation DRDO/GTRE, I don't know why few people are still in dilemma and not appreciating efforts of GTRE scientist who have worked despite of all the criticism around them. From my side congratulation to all of GTRE scientists

Anonymous said...

Which RUGRAT said that it is reversed enginered and which brainy smurf whats to put it in the rocket prove that it is reversed engineered every thaing India makes is reversed engineered every thing made by the over paid white saabs is indeginous i was people like you who sold the country to the forigners and will do so in future

Anonymous said...

@1.05 PM TaxPayer

get yor facts correct. If the Kaveri is a reverse engineered engine, it would not take 20 years to develop it. The very fact that it is a leaky turbofan should tell you that is a first attempt at making a jet engine. HAL/NAL is not the best organization in India or a very competent one, but give them credit where it is due.

Btw-Interesting lie about "piece-by-piece of the original GE Engine". Which engine? The 404 or the 414? Both have different designs compared to the Kaveri including number of engine stages and configuration?

Spare us this bullshit. If you have facts, present them.

Anonymous said...

kaveri not powering amca