Wednesday, November 17, 2010

With Foreign Help, Troubled Saras Crawling Back To Life


With expert consultancies from Italy's Piaggio Aero and Russia's Myasischev Experimental Design Bureau (MDB), India's Saras light transport aircraft programme, plagued by development hurdles and a tragic crash of its second prototype, will finally get back to flight testing next year. As part of a comprehensive recovery programme following the crippling crash on March 6 last year, the first Saras prototype PT-1 is being converted into a PT-2+ standard, and programme is also attempting to finish fabrication of two production standard aircraft (PSA) to join the flight test routine. The consultancies with Piaggio and MDB were necessary after India's civil aviation authority concluded that fundamental design flaws had caused [PDF] last year's crash. The two companies are helping the Saras team completely redesign the aircraft's nacelles.

33 comments :

Anonymous said...

Shiv,
can you post a link to the Manglore crash of VT-AXV report when it is released. Rediff.com says the report is ready and with the civil aviation ministry.
Thanks

Anonymous said...

We need to take pride in our country's efforts to design and build technologically advanced products, and not take joy in our set backs in this arduous journey.
We are proving worse than Pakis and Chinis who no matter how crappy their product is will always root for their country's product.

Anonymous said...

Shiv Gen. Deepak Kapoor's name has again cropped up in another land scam. We want you to update us on such news. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Its a pity that we can't even design a prop driven light transport aircraft and we r dreaming to become a superpower..

keshto said...

10:12 PM
Its a pity that we can't even design a prop driven light transport aircraft and we r dreaming to become a superpower..


Welcome to India, the land of yr ancestors!

How was Pakistan?

Bulusu said...

http://aviationsafetynetwork.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/report-incorrect-relight-procedure-during-test-flight-causes-crash-of-nal-saras-prototype/

keshto said...

Hypersonic wind tunnel programme for testing scramjet engine

Anonymous said...

I knew that NAL Saras would be a failure from the day, I saw its design. Govt should close this low performing labs or change its name to something other than aerospace. For the last 50 years, they have not designed any successful product other than NAL Hansa, even though they employ 1000+ people and occupy a prime place in Old Airport Road, Bangalore.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 11:25 pm
dude.. i'm not a pakistani.. i'm a patriotic indian who just can't digest the fact that a country like ours aiming for self sufficiency can't even design such a simple aircraft. Look at the saras.. i'm not an aviation expert.. but i do have some idea about aircraft.. there's nothing unique about this aircraft except the pusher propeller configuration. I'm a first year engineering student and i've seen seniors in my college design flying models within a very small period of time and limited resources which would put NAL at shame. Has our nation come so low that you are comparing us to pakistan.

Anonymous said...

Why are we still behind this aircraft? How many more years and money will it take before this actually flies with people inside it?

Can't we do most of the same work with a modernised Dornier Do 228?

Anonymous said...

@ anon @ 921
Ask your seniors ....they will tell you that designing a small a/c and big a/c implies a world of difference...

you cant scale everything by a factor of 100 and get away...

mathi man said...

Faulty Thermal Imaging System supplied for T-90s. Army again browsing the market with a shopping bag with a hidden pocket to stow "Extra" cash. Way yo go "IA"


href="http://www.tehelka.com/story_main47.asp?filename=Ws171110Defence.asp"

mathi man said...

@Anon 12:36

Well, Yes we can do the same thing with modernised Dornier D0 228. But dont you know what our aerospace labs are al about?

Its about " Hey! You have built something? Even we can build that"

Its not about " Hey you have built something? We can do better"

Gautam said...

Most of NAL's 1000 employees are non-technical staff like cooks, sweepers, peons etc. This is in fact true for most DRDO institutions and is major drain on their funding. Unfortunately these kinds of employees are the ones who form militant unions to protect their jobs, and hold the politicians by the balls to ensure their monopoly and favouritism.

Similarly HAL, even with its admitted shortage of scientists and engineers gets just about every Indian aerospace project to itself(LCA, ALH, LCH, LUH, IJT, CAT, FGFA, Rustom) and consequently they are all delayed.

Anonymous said...

From the above comments we can make out the attitude of Indians. Always groaning and griping about anything and everything.

Would it be better if we imported everything from abroad at huge costs and equally huge kickbacks?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9.21AM

Fyi, making aeroplane models is the hobby of school children. Building real ACs is the job of grown ups. What's the name of your Engg Institute?

Anonymous said...

@Mathi Man

Get real. In 1960s and 70s we couldn't even feed our people and India was considered to be a basket case.

What you are expecting can happen in only those countries which have expertise in building ACs. We are learning to crawl and you expect HAL/NAL to run? They are doing a fantastic job. Each and every AC faced similar teething problems before they became truly successful. I guess you might have heard about A380 Rolls Royce engine bursting into flames?

Anonymous said...

Gautam

Again you are publicly displaying your ignorance and stupidity.

Why should NAL and HAL employ cooks and sweepers? These jobs are performed by contract employees.

Show me even one instance where HAL and NAL cooks, peons, sweepers went on a strike and thereby hold politicians by the balls?

Who has stopped the Pvt sector from designing and building their own ACs? Since our Pvt sector does not have the capabilities, Govt has stepped in this area.

Anonymous said...

How can such corrupt people like Deepak Kapoor even be selected by the army let alone reaching the top position? It shows the rot in the army's recruitment and promotion process. No wonder several good officers are opting for early retirement at a time when defense is not the best option for the most talented. Check this out.
http://www.tehelka.com/story_main47.asp?filename=Ne201110Coverstory.asp

Jith said...

NAL saras is certainly a stepping stone for developments in aviation. U cannot expect a mango seed to grow into a tree and start giving u mangoes the very next week. Even the so-called pioneers like Airbus and Boeing are still having troubles developing their aircrafts.
The news of A380 engine failure and B787 dreamliner catching fire are examples.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2013387936_787emergency10.html


I still hope of bright days for SARAS.. All the very best

Gautam said...

Anon @ 3.44PM,

There is no point wasting the time in finding you the articles about the extent and type of PSU overstaffing as you will just deny, ignore and hide behind more spittle and allegations. From Air India to DRDO it is quite common. And contracting these tasks to private sector is something that is greatly resisted by such employees(because it would mean losing their jobs) although it is gradually improving.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 1:22pm & anon 3:21pm
the models made in my insti are not very simple ... many of the ppl have made micro UAVs(in a scholarship competition sponsored by boeing) and the aerospace dept of my insti has even contributed to the development of the Tejas(there is a static model of a Tejas in the main building). This is the link for the competition in my insti (IIT Kharagpur) http://www.ktj.in/#Laws_of_Motion ..this event is usually sponsored by Boeing ...read the problem statement ... it is not so simple... designing a 1.5 to 2 kg aircraft and dropping "bombs" at two different locations while taking off and landing from a 18 m runway(very short i think)... and this is made by students who r usually not from the aerospace dept. this kind of an aircraft can be very useful if made in a slightly larger scale ... at least better than the UAVs currently under dev.. if PSUs like NAL recruit from my college and the students are given sufficient freedom and money.. we may be ahead of israel in making UAVs.

Anonymous said...

Gautam

A company like HPCL (Petrol), which is spread from Kashmir to Kanyakumari is run by just 11,000 employees whereas Ajanta Clock (manufacturer of wall clocks) used to employee 13,000 employees. So pls cut the BS. Nowadays almost all PSUs have frozen recruitment of non-mgt staff. How many ads do you find in the newspaper for vacancies in PSU non mgt jobs?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8.40 do you know how much those bunker busting or laser guided bombs weigh?
In schools they do build 1 to 2 kg model aeroplanes. It's not the same thing as building a jet powered fighter plane weighing several tons.
Since you guys are already employed in NAL and HAL so you must try do a fine job after joining such venerable institutions from IITs instead of dissing your future prospective employer.

Anonymous said...

@Gautam

There is no barrier to Pvt sector building their own ACs. How can PSU unions stop Pvt sector from designing and manufacturing their own ACs? Do Pvt sectors need to take permission from PSU unions to start new ventures?

Gautam said...

Anon @ 10:58,

Because there IS a barrier: Lack of incentives and government support. Before you start whining about self-sufficiency, this is how industries are built from scratch. The IT, Telecom, Civil Aviation and Power industries are some good examples. They can't spend the money to develop a platform from scratch without any assured customers. Not even well-established Defence Firms in the West like Airbus can.

Gautam said...

Also PSU Unions block MoD resolutions that would enable private sector firms to form JVs with more than 25% foreign share(with 50-50 arrangements like BrahMos and MTA they'd have better access to ToT) and also prevent them from having benefits like government funding covering the R & D cost(essential to make products profitable), exemption from import duties and other barriers for foreign components or consultancy, tax exemptions etc that are given to DRDO/DPSUs.

No, I don't want to hear your recorded and rehashed rant about 'baniyas', 100% FDI and private sectors not deserving any benefit.

Anonymous said...

@ Gautam
if you dont wanna hear what others have to say...why do you expect others to give any thought to your views...

Anonymous said...

@Gautam

Your ignorance is stupefying. PSU unions will stop MOD resolutions? You think just anyone can walk into MOD and coerce them to tow their line. Mate, do you think India is some banana republic? You will piss in your pants before you reach even the doors of MOD. DO you think jholawala union leaders can blissfully walk into MOD? Do you even know how many unions there are? Even bhajpa has it's own union. So if you criticize unions then you are also criticizing bhajpa union.

Anonymous said...

Gautam

Infosys, Reliance power, Jet airways etc. were given assured customers by the Govt? Did they receive incentive and Govt support to motivate them? Are you aware what is the meaning of entrepreneurship? It seems you want this babu-neta-baniya nexus that robs India of all it's wealth to continue. 2G scam is the most recent example.

Gautam said...

2G scam was perpetuated by the ruling government which controlled and auctioned the spectrum licences to the private sector, so that's a crappy example.

If any of you PSU-lovers have any idea how the system works, government babus and netas have ALWAYS been closely linked to the Defence PSUs. The profits from these PSUs go back to the MoD that owes the, and their unions represent a significant votebank.

There have been enough articles even here and in places like Broadsword illustrating the DPSU's backdoor lobbying and the PSU-MoD nexus. But while you accuse me of not listening, you are the sort of brushes off these reports as 'baniya paid lies' and then spouts anti-private propaganda. There's no point wasting further time arguing with your breed.

Gautam said...

And I have no desire reading the semi-retarded stock replies I already debunked half a dozen times on this very blog but which you keep faithfully repeating out of self-pride and ignorance.

Gautam said...

Anon@ 11:44PM

I think you already know the answer and are ignoring it. Reliance, Infosys, Jet Airways DID have an incentive: Demand from the Indian consumer.

Where willing customers exist, there will always be scope for enterpreneurship. But the Indian public does not buy tanks and artillery. In the defence sector the only customer is the armed forces. And since defence purchases are controlled by the MoD their support is crucial for the defence industry. The likes of Eurofighter, Rafale, Gripen and A400M exist only because the various European governments supported, encouraged and financed them with funds and orders over the decades. Without any hope of orders our private cos cannot achieve anything no matter how dedicated they are.

I already know your answer: "If ur privt sektr is so gud why dnt they devlp themslvs and sell abrd whl our army supprts mahan PSU monopoly?" Well, why doesn't DRDO, the DPSUs or the Ordinance Factories do that then? With their vast experience they should have no problems getting foreign orders right? NOPE. If you have any idea how the defence sector works, you'll know that first products are developed and sold to domestic clients and THEN offered for export. The export market has too much competition and too many major players to offer hope of large enough sales to cover R & D cost and assure profit. If Tata spent 500cr developing a plane and marketed it abroad at 10cr each, even if someone would choose their product over more experienced offerings from Russia, China, USA, Europe or Israel they would at most get a dozen or so orders and make a huge loss and go bankrupt.