Monday, May 31, 2010

NAL Plans RTA design that can Use both Turboprop and Turbojet Engine

Bangalore: Facing tough competition, designers at the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) are mulling over a change in the configuration of the so-called regional transport aircraft (RTA) they plan to build to run on short-haul feeder routes.The RTA was envisaged as a 70-90 seat civilian aircraft powered by a turboprop engine—a gas turbine engine used to drive a propeller.But NAL is now thinking of using a jet engine as well and increasing its capacity to 90-110 passengers.“We are looking at an aircraft (where) both turboprop and turbojet can be used". A 15-member committee for national civil aircraft development held its first meeting in Bangalore on Thursday, and set a one-year deadline for a feasibility study for the Rs2,500 crore plane project.Planes made by Brazil’s Embraer and Canada’s Bombardier Inc. currently dominate such routes.While the Indian project is yet to get off the ground, Russia’s Sukhoi Co. and China’s China Aviation Industry Corp. are also building similar aircraft.

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