Monday, September 07, 2009

Kaveri jet engine finally poised for first flight

Bangalore: In 1989, Dr Mohana Rao, then a junior technician at the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), Bangalore, immersed himself in the ambitious Kaveri programme, which was designing a jet engine for the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft. After pushing the Kaveri through two decades of heartbreak and achievement, Dr Rao is now the Director of GTRE. And his baby, the Kaveri engine, is ready to fly.
This week, a fully built Kaveri engine will be transported to a testing facility outside Moscow called the Gromov Flight Research Institute. Here, a giant IL-76 aircraft will have one of its four engines replaced with a Kaveri. Russian and GTRE experts will then evaluate the Kaveri’s performance while the IL-76 flies.
Before the actual flight tests, Russian experts at Moscow’s Central Institute of Aviation Motors will run ground checks on the Kaveri’s performance, in conditions that simulate altitudes up to 15 kilometers (49,200 feet).
Business Standard visited the Kaveri ground test bed at GTRE, Bangalore, where Russian experts are finishing “pre-acceptance checks” on the Kaveri engine that is headed for their facilities in Russia.
“The Kaveri’s development is complete”, confirmed Dr Mohana Rao, “In ground testing at GTRE it met the performance parameters laid down in 1998. The next step is to confirm that it performs during flight. A 50-person GTRE team will travel with the engine to Moscow and participate in the flight trials over the next 3-4 months.”
07/09/09 Ajai Shukla/Business Standard