Air Chief flies in the Shakthi powered ALH Dhruv

Bangalore: The chief of the air staff, air chief marshal, FH Major, was flown around in the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), Dhruv, powered by the new Shakthi engine in Bangalore last week. Wg Cdr (retd) Unni Pillai, deputy chief test pilot, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), piloted the flight, which lasted for over 20 minutes.

The flight saw the air chief taking a keen interest in the sophisticated electronic digital control systems and other onboard equipment installed for various missions. After the flight, ACM Major described the ALH as an outstanding flying platform with multiple features. "It''s a great feeling to fly a beautiful machine," he said.

He was taken around the various facilities in the Helicopter Division and was subsequently briefed by HAL chairman Ashok K Baweja about the armed version of the Dhruv.