HAL HPT-32 Deepak Primary Trainer Aircraft ,Indian Armed Forces
The HAL HPT-32 Deepak is an Indian prop-driven primary trainer manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The student and the instructor sit side-by-side. The aircraft can accommodate one passenger.
The Deepak is used for primary training, observation, liaison and target towing.It took its first flight on 6 januray 1977.The Aircraft come in two variants BASic version HPT-32 and Turboprop version HTT-34.
Indias indigenous HAL HPT-32 Deepak is used for initial pilot training and other utility tasks.
The Deepak was developed by HAL for the IAF to replace the tandem two-seat HT-2 basic trainer and to undertake a range of other utility roles. The prototype first flew on 06 January 1977, followed by a second on March 1979.
The third prototype, built to the definitive production standard, flew in July 1981. However production deliveries did not start till 1984, with 12 aircraft handed over to IAF, which were based at the IAFs Elementary School at Bidar. The initial IAF requirement was for 160 HPT-32s, the first production batch of 24 was followed by successive re-orders which took deliveries to 120 delivered through early 1990s. A small number of aircraft were also transferred to the IN.
Design and salient Features
The design of HPT-32 Deepak is quiet conventional and features a semi-monocoque structure with stressed skin, fixed tricycle undercarriage, and a rear-ward sliding canopy above the two side-by-side seats. There is room for a third trainee in the back of the two seats. The aircraft is fully aerobatic.
The two seat basic propeller driven trainer aircraft has length of 7.7 m,wingspan of 9.5m and height of 2.9 m .The aircraft is also used in various other utility roles like armed patrol,observation,liaison work,supply dropping,SAR,recon,Glider,target towing,and even for weapon training and light strike.
Engine and performance
The HPT-32 Deepak is powered by one 195kW Textron lycoming EIO-540-D4B5 flat six piston engine of 260 hp.The engine drives a two-blade constant speed propeller.
The aircraft has empty weight of 890 kg and maximum takeoff weight of 1250 kg.The aircraft flies at the maximum speed of 265 km/h at sea level ,Economical cruising speed of 176 km/h and Maximum Cruising speed of 213 km/h.The Maximum rate of climb is 1100 ft/min.The Aircraft has range of 745 km and service ceiling of 18,045 feet.
The Aircraft is equipped with four hardpoints,255 kg warhead,machine gun pods , bombs and Rockets.
HTT-34 Turboprop Powered Version
The turboprop powered HTT-34 which was developed as a private venture by HAL. The 313kW (420shp) Allison 250-B17D powered HTT-34 flew for the first time, in a converted HTP-32 prototype form, on 17 June 1984. The new engine significantly boasted performance on the the basic aircraft, but was cancelled as official interest was not forthcoming.
Accidents and Replacing of HPT-32 Fleet
The aircraft had always been plagued by fuel line problems and there were dozens of incidents in which the engine cut in mid-flight forcing pilots to put down the aircraft in emergency landings.
After a fatal accident on the HPT-32 aircraft on July 31, 2009, a decision was taken by Air Headquarters to ground the HPT-32 aircraft fleet. The Indian Air Force (IAF) grounded its entire fleet of initial trainer HPT-32 aircraft.All the aircraft had been withdrawn and have been stored at Air Force Academy Dundigal. They have since been replaced by the Pilatus PC-7 MkII for training.
A total number of 17 HPT-32 aircraft had crashed till date and 19 pilots had lost their lives in these accidents.