HAL has commenced the Main Airframe Fatigue Test (MAFT) of LCA Mk1 airframe at its Ground Test Centre of the Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC) in Bengaluru.
The MAFT test facility was inaugurated by Arup Chatterjee, Dir (Engg. and R&D), HAL. “Despite the setbacks due to COVID-19 pandemic, HAL has been able to commence the MAFT testing within the timelines planned”, says Chatterjee. Dr. Girish Dheodhare, PGD (CA) & DG-ADA, Air Vice Marshal K V R Raju, Director IAF-PMT, Dr A.K. Bakare, Scientist ‘G’, Director (Aircraft), CEMILAC officials from HAL, ADA, CEMILAC and ORDAQA were present.
R Madhavan, CMD, HAL and Dr. Dheodhare expressed their satisfaction on timely commencement of the MAFT testing. AVM Raju cited the importance of the commencement of the MAFT testing towards clearance of the full life of LCA fleet and urged the team to keep up the momentum to ensure that the continuous flying requirements of IAF are met.
As per the military airworthiness requirements, MAFT has to demonstrate the capability of the airframe to withstand four times the service life. These tests will be carried out on the LCA (Air Force) Mk1 airframe over a period of eight to nine years. The successful completion of MAFT will qualify the LCA (Air Force) Mk1 airframe for its full-service life.
The test plan and schedule for the MAFT has been jointly arrived at by the designers from HAL and scientists from Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in coordination with the Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness (RCMA), CEMILAC. The testing and inspection will be carried out by ARDC under the supervision of DGAQA with the participation of designers from ARDC and ADA.