The five-seater plane that NAL and Mahindra Aerospace are developing has made its first test flight, the two partners announced on Wednesday.

A joint release described the outing as a “milestone event for India's first public-private partnership in aircraft development.”

The C-NM5 flew for the first time on September 1 for 45 minutes at Mahindra's Australian facility near Melbourne. Mahindra plans to seek Australian certification for its global sales.

Indian certification

An Indian certification will follow after the flight tests under domestic conditions.

The company plans to market this and three to four of its own other small planes for mass connectivity across the country.

The Bangalore-based National Aerospace Laboratories under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and Mahindra Aerospace have been working on the small plane for three years. Mahindra's Australian subsidiary GippsAero built the prototype in ten months at its facility and conducted the first flight, the release said. Teams from NAL, Mahindra Aerospace and GippsAero are involved in the C-NM5 programme.

Dr Samir Brahmachari, CSIR Director-General and Secretary, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Ministry of Science and Technology, said, “It is our privilege to announce an important milestone in the C-NM5 programme with the first flight of the prototype in Australia which was undertaken by Mahindra. This is not only a pioneering public-private partnership for India, but also symbolises the globalised nature of the technological knowledge pool from which we can all draw.”

Mr Anand Mahindra, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra Group, described NM5 as “part of Mahindra's goal to provide transportation and connectivity solutions to communities everywhere.”

(This article was published on September 14, 2011)
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