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May 2008 edition

India has designs on regional transport aircraft

India-based public research agency, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research has offered Rs300 crore ($75 million) for its research lab in Bangalore to design an aeroplane that can carry 90 passengers on short flights, and compete with Franco-Italian aircraft-maker ATR in Indian skies.

National Aerospace Laboratories is building the regional transport aircraft named RTA 70. It plans to use the grant to design a digital concept aircraft in around two years as well as improving infrastructure at the lab.

Once the funding is confirmed, NAL said a prototype would be built and flown in four years. The first would be a 70-seat aircraft followed by two other variants: a 50-seater and later an extended 90-seat aircraft.

According to sources at NAL, the new design would have more compos....

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