HAL/NAL Regional Transport Aircraft (RTA) ,Indian Regional Jet (IRJ),Indian Armed Forces
The HAL/NAL Regional Transport Aircraft (RTA) is a project of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL). It is also known as the Indian Regional Jet (IRJ).
The aircraft is claimed to be turboprop or jet with a capacity of 70-100 passengers.The basic version will have 0-90 seats (RTA-70). This new generation aircraft is based on market demand for an aircraft with low fuel burn ,ownership and maintenance costs.
In 2007 Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) are jointly design and develop a 70-seater civil regional aircraft.NAL had held discussions with Pratt and Whitney (Canada) and General Electric (U.S.) for an engine. The two organisations estimated that over the next 20 years there would be a requirement for around 400 aircraft from both the defence services and civil airlines for regional aircraft of this size. The NAL-designed RTA-70 is meant to ply short-haul routes and compete with planes of French-Italian aircraft maker Avions de Transport Régional (ATR), a leading exporter of turbo-prop aircraft to the Indian sub-continent.
In 2008, the Indian government through the Ministries of Defence and Civil Aviation have approved the plan and have asked HAL to prepare a roadmap for the project. It will not be an indigenous venture as the government is planning to enter into a memorandum of understanding with major names in the industry like Embraer, Bombardier Aerospace or United Aircraft Corporation. The proposed aircraft will have 70 to 110 seats and a range of 3,000 km. The aircraft will be developed keeping in mind the regional and domestic traffic. Estimated to cost Rs.40 billion, the aircraft will be developed within six years of the details being finalised.
In 2010 at the India Aviation exhibition held in Hyderabad, a proposed cabin was on display and more details on the specifications of the aircraft have been revealed.
On 23 December 2010, it was announced that the Indian government had asked NAL to consider the use of turbofan engines on the RTA-70. According to an NAL official, the use of a jet engine was seen as “a stepping stone to the high end” by the government.
Design and Salient Features
The aircraft is claimed to offer 25% Lower acquisition costs,25% lower operating costs and 50% lower maintenance costs than esisting turboprop regional aircraft.
Used for All weather operaions the 70-seat aircraft will have a range of 2500 km and with maximum fuel the range extends to 3800 km.It require a take-off field length and landing length of 900 m (2950 ft). The aircraft would have a length of 28.6m and a wing-span of 29.4m. The aircraft would have a service ceiling of 30,000 ft, a cruising speed of 300kt(550 km/h), and the noise level would meet Stage 4 FAR36 criteria.
The cabin, which would be able to seat four abreast, would have a width of 3.01m and height of 3.35m. The cargo hold would have a volume of 25m³ (880 ft³).
NAL is considering a composite airframe,low drag configuration and lean Ground infrastructure. It would have an indigenous fly-by-wire control system, open distributed modular avionics, automatic dependence surveillance – broadcast navigation capabilities, and advanced displays.
The aircraft also features better aerodynamics properties,super hydrophobic ,Self clean and Abrasion resistance coatings,Faster trouble shooting,morphing,use of piezo and SMA related smart materials for flutter and gust control,integrated vehicle health monitoring,structural topology,structural health monitoring (SHM) and use of low cost composites.
The aircraft may be incorporated with active noise control system flight control systems,synthetic vision,utility systems including ECS,all electric systems etc,Open architecture,COTS,FBW,GPS WAAS GAGAN,ADS-B and Low cost HUD.
Engine and Performance
The aircraft will be come in two different variants ;one using two Next generation turboprop engines and second using two turbofan engines.Both the deisgn offer 25% lower operating cost,20 % lower fuel consumption rate and 25% lower maintenance cost.The two variants have almost 95% common airframe and other system excluding powerplant.They have common cockpit,Common logitics/Supply Chain,MRO,Training and Documentation.
The T.O performance and landing performance of RTA-70 Turbo Prop variant is 900-1000 metres wheras of RTA-70 Turbo fan is 1100-1200 metres.The cruise speed of former is less than 550 km/h whereas the later is between 750-800 km/h.Both have 60% lower Emissions rate.Both have ability to operate from ill equipped airfields.
The Aircraft has a payload capacity of 70 passengers + 1000 kg of cargo.