State-owned behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is hopeful of flying its future multi-role helicopter, a mock-up of which was unveiled at the just-concluded Aero India here, by 2019 -- but the engine for it has not yet been finalised. Finer details of the chopper, which will be the biggest rotary wing aircraft ever made by India, will be finalised only after specifications are received from the users to develop the different versions that are planned.
The HAL, which boasts of building a series of helicopters like the Dhruv Advanced Light helicopter (ALH), the weaponised Rudra ALH , a Light Combat Helicopter and the latest Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), has embarked on the mission to make an Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH), with a 12-tonne lift capacity, to reduce the dependence on imports for this category.
The mock-up presented at the Aero India 2017 is based largely on the Russian Mi-17, and HAL plans to develop four versions of it for the three Services and for civilian use.The chopper can seat 24 troops or 12 passengers. It is 5.7 metres long, 2.1 metres wide and 1.9 metres high .The chopper will be equipped with automatic flight control system, state-of-the-art mission systems, and advanced cockpit display and avionic system. So far we have largely depended on the Russian Mi-17s.
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forward, backward, and laterally. These attributes allow helicopters to be used in congested or isolated areas where fixed-wing aircraft and many forms of VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft cannot perform. In English language nicknames for helicopter include "chopper", "copter", "helo", "heli", and "whirlybird".