Home' Asian Aviation : AAV October 2011 Contents NAL, Mahindra complete first flight
of C-NM5 light piston-prop
AsianAviation | OCTOBER 2011 13
The five-seat C-NM5 aircraft, developed
by India’s Mahindra Aerospace and the
National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL),
completed its first flight on 1 September
in Australia, marking a major milestone for
India’s first public-private partnership in
The 45- minute maiden flight of the all-
metal aircraft, powered by a Lycoming IO-540
piston engine, tested the basic handling
qualities of the aircraft. Subsequent flights
have involved stability and control tests as the
developers aim for FAR Pt 23 certification.
The prototype aircraft was built over ten
months by Mahindra’s majority-owned
GippsAero affiliate at the company’s facilities
near Melbourne, Australia. GippsAero’s
flight-test team is also supporting the flight-
testing of the aircraft.
“It gives us great pride to see our first
indigenous effort, the C-NM5, developed
with the NAL, complete its maiden flight.
This project is part of our goal to provide
transportation and connectivity solutions
to communities,” says Anand Mahindra,
vice-chairman and managing director of
The C-NM5 features fixed landing gear
and a spacious cabin with large access doors.
Its interior is reconfigurable for a variety
of roles including: cargo, charter, air taxi,
casualty evacuation and private use.
Mahindra Aerospace says the aircraft,
which has taken three years to develop, is
ideally suited for short-haul taxi operations.
As envisaged now, the C-NM5 would carry a
price tag of some US$400,000.
Mahindra’s Bangalore facility is gearing
up for production of the aircraft, which is
expected to complete flight testing in about
“First we will get the aircraft certified
by the Australian aviation authority – Civil
Aviation Safety Authority – and then bring
it to India to be certified by the Indian
Government owned Directorate General of
Civil Aviation (DGCA),” says Hemant Luthra,
President of Mahindra Systech.
Certification of the C-NM5 will
help Mahindra Aerospace on the road
to becoming a globally recognized
manufacturer of general-aviation aircraft.
Mahindra is also understood to be close to
selling more than two dozen GippsAero GA8
Airvans to a Chinese entrepreneur keen on
launching a low-cost airline.
“On the design engineering side of
the business, we have already committed
our efforts to developing and marketing
a portfolio of light aircraft in the two- to
20-seat range,” Mahindra says. “There is
enormous potential for aircraft of [that size]
that are rugged, reliable and affordable.”
– Radhakrishna Rao
NEWS IN BRIEF
KOREAN AIR (KAL) has become the launch customer
for Bombardier’s CSeries CS300 jetliner with an order
for ten aircraft, plus purchase rights for another ten.
The order was converted from an earlier letter of intent.
The aircraft will be powered by the Pratt & Whitney
PurePower 1000G engines. No details of the delivery
schedule are available as yet. The airline will deploy the
aircraft on short-haul routes to China. Separately, KAL
has returned to profitability, posting US$185.1 million in
net income for the first six months of the year, compared
with a US$57 million loss for the same period in 2010.
The carrier is also poised to roll out its new audio- and
video-on-demand system in all classes aboard four
Boeing 737-900ERs and ten 737-800 aircraft ordered
in 2009. The first 737-800 was delivered in July while
the remaining 13 aircraft are scheduled to arrive from
November this year through 2012.
MALAYSIA AIRPORTS Holdings Berhad (MAHB) will
increase aeronautical fees, starting with its international
passenger service charge (IPSC), from 15 September.
The IPSC will be increased by 14 ringgit (US$4.66) to
65 ringgit at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA),
Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang, Langkawi
International Airport, Penang International Airport,
Kota Kinabalu International Airport and Kuching
International Airport. At the Low-Cost Carriers’ Terminal
at KLIA and Terminal 2 in Kota Kinabalu, the IPSC will
be raised by 7 ringgit to 32 ringgit. The charge has not
changed since 2002. Landing fees will also be increased
in three stages – by 9 percent each time in January
2012, January 2013 and January 2014. Aircraft parking
charges will also rise in three stages, by 18 percent each
year, starting in 2012. Parking charges are based on
12-hour blocks, with the first three hours free. MAHB’s
general manager for corporate communications, Nik
Anis Nik Zakaria, says landing and parking charges had
not been raised in the last 17 years. Current policy,
implemented in 2002, waives landing fees for three
years on all new routes and additional frequencies
operated by airlines into Malaysia.
The C-NM5 flew for the first time on 1 September.
30/09/11 9:32 PM
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