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Mahindra Plexion and NAL to co-design and develop multi-purpose aircraftnews
14 February 2007

Mumbai: India's leading vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, along with state-owned National Aerospace Laboratories, a constituent of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research organisation, have entered into an agreement for the design and development of a new multi-purpose aircraft that will ferry both cargo and passengers.

Interestingly, the new aircraft will be developed over a period of 36 months. Certification for FAR-23 standards, both within India and abroad, will follow thereafter. According to a Mahindra & Mahindra statement, the aircraft will have specifications that would meet both Indian and international standards.

Plexion Technologies, the engineering wing of Mahindra Systems and Technologies, will do the design and development of the aircraft, the company said. Mahindra & Mahindra derives its aerospace competencies from Plexion Technologies, which it acquired in 2005.

The new aircraft is being designed and developed to perform a variety of missions, including cargo and air taxi operations. A combination of state-of-the-art composite technology as well as advanced sheet metal fabrication techniques will be used in its manufacture. The aircraft will be contemporary in design with advanced cockpit and comprehensive safety features, including energy absorbing seats and lightning protection. Yet another unique feature would be the integration of a number of indigenous components and proven systems and technologies.

During the design and development phase, a combined technical team from both the organizations would be jointly involved, which will be followed by design validation and testing, using the extensive facilities of the National Aerospace Laboratories.

No financial details of the deal were revealed.

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Mahindra Plexion and NAL to co-design and develop multi-purpose aircraft