First pictures: HAL Light Combat Aircraft Navy version first flight

India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) naval prototype took off on its first flight just a few hours ago, after many a delay.

The twin seat aircraft took off a little after noon and landed about 20 minutes later. The flight was reported well with the aircraft behaving as expected. Bangalore Aviation photographer Vedant captured the aircraft as it touched down.

LCA Light Combat Aircraft Naval Prototype 1 NP1 KHN-T 3001 First Flight HAL DRDO Bangalore

The aircraft was piloted by Commodore Jaideep Avinash Maolankar, Chief Test Pilot with the NFTC, and co-piloted by Wing Commander M. Prabhu, flight test engineer (FTE). (Hat-tip to Shiv Aroor).

In keeping with LCA tradition, the tail number is KHN-T 3001. All prototype LCA’s carry KH on the tail honouring the plane’s creator Padma Shri Dr. Kota Harinaryana.

Congratulations to HAL, DRDO, Indian Navy, and everyone associated to this project.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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