Lithium-ion batteries power HTT-40 Indian aircraft trainer
NEW DELHI ($1=78.45 Indian Rupees) — The HTT-40 [Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40] is a combat trainer in the inventory of the Indian Air Force [IAF]. Recently, the state-owned company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited [HAL] announced in a report changes to the equipment of the HTT-40. HAL says the HTT-40 is now powered by a lithium-ion battery developed specifically for military aviation.
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India’s online portal Indian Defense Research Wing says the HTT-40 is the first military aircraft on the continent [Asia] to be powered by lithium-ion batteries. HAL gives little information about the fuelless configuration – they say only that the batteries have passed tests, have dozens of protections, and already produced spare parts for them.
The use of lithium-ion batteries in the past has a bad history. Evidence of vehicle fires abounds, including the self-ignition of batteries. But HAL says that the HTT-40 is doing great with the new power supply and so far there hasn’t been a single incident reported.
The HTT-40 is the primary training aircraft of the Indian Air Force. The HTT-40 will replace India’s current trainer aircraft, the HPT-32 Deepak.
The HTT-40 is still under development and HAL has produced two prototypes to date. The first flight of the HTT-40 was made in 2016. One prototype is powered by lithium-ion batteries, the other by a 1,100-horsepower turboprop engine, a Honeywell Garrett TPE331-12B model.
The prototype with a turboprop engine has a range of 1,000 km [there is no official information on the range of the lithium-ion aircraft]. The maximum speed that the HTT-40 reaches is 400 km/h. It can fly at an altitude of 6,000 meters and its g limits are +6/-3. This aircraft can be equipped with weapons for full pilot training. India has ordered 106 units of it, which are expected to be delivered by the end of 2030.
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