In The Works: National Aerospace Laboratories Saras

 - April 30, 2009, 11:47 AM

The number-two prototype Saras twin-turboprop crashed on March 6 in India during its 49th test flight, killing the three test pilots on board. The third prototype of the 14-seat Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-powered twin is under construction and will be production-conforming. Indian certification of the Saras is expected next year. “The Saras project will continue; we will not shelve it,” said SK Brahmachari, director general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. According to officials, the prototype Saras had flown for 70 minutes and successfully performed an in-flight engine restart test before it climbed to a higher altitude, lost contact with controllers and crashed near Bangalore. The cause of the crash has yet to be determined.