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The C-NM5 from CSIR-NAL and Mahindra Aerospace makes its maiden flight

India's CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (CSIR-NAL – a constituent laboratory of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research), and Mahindra Aerospace (a part of India's US $12.5 billion Mahindra Group) today announced the successful maiden flight of their jointly developed C-NM5 aircraft, marking an important milestone in their collaborative aircraft development programme.

The programme is India's first public-private partnership in the development of aircraft, and this milestone event is the result of teamwork across three development teams – CSIR-NAL, Mahindra Aerospace and GippsAero (a Mahindra Aerospace subsidiary in Australia).

Engineers from CSIR-NAL and Mahindra Aerospace spent close to three years designing this all-new aircraft using cutting-edge design and analysis tools. The prototype was built over a 10 month period by the rapid prototyping team at GippsAero in their facilities near Melbourne, Australia. Flight testing is being performed at GippsAero by a professionally-trained test pilot supported by GippsAero's flight test team.

The 45-minute first flight on the 1st of September tested basic handling of the aircraft. Subsequent flights have evaluated aircraft stability and control in different flight regimes. Developmental flight testing and evaluations are continuing, with the ultimate objective of achieving Type Certification in keeping with international regulatory standards, followed by a global sales and marketing programme.

The C-NM5 is a 5-seat all-metal aircraft powered by a Lycoming IO-540 engine, and features non-retractable landing gear and a spacious cabin with large access doors. The cabin interior is reconfigurable to adapt the aircraft to different roles, while simplicity of systems and ease of maintenance are design drivers throughout the aircraft. The C-NM5 thus complements Mahindra Aerospace's growing family of light utility aircraft that are designed to meet the latest global standards, while operating in environments with limited infrastructure at extremely low costs per seat mile.

"It is our privilege to announce an important milestone in the 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 symbolizes the globalized nature of the technological knowledge pool from which we can all draw from and contribute to, leading to execution excellence" I am particularly pleased with NAL's (and its erstwhile Director, Dr Upadhyaya 's) contribution to the project. Together with the private sector , such initiatives will provide the impetus for the development of a world class indigenous aerospace industry in India . said Prof. Samir Brahmachari, Director General, CSIR, and Secretary, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India

"It gives us great pride to see our first indigenous effort, the C-NM5, developed along with the CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, complete its maiden flight. A partnership that will enable India to Rise – to the skies! This project is part of Mahindra's goal to provide transportation and connectivity solutions to communities everywhere. My congratulations to our teams in India and Australia for successfully executing India's first public-private partnership in aircraft development," said Mr. Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra Group.

"The C-NM5's first flight symbolizes our commitment to taking a concept from dream to reality. This is the first flight on a journey which we hope will take us far into the utility aircraft space and help us fulfil a need in developing economies world-wide. A journey that would not have come as far, were it not for the teamwork between our strong technological partners, CSIR-NAL , our experienced colleagues in Mahindra Aerospace and its Australian subsidiary GippsAero " said Mr. Hemant Luthra, Chairman, Mahindra Aerospace Pvt. Ltd.

"The successful first flight of the C-NM5 prototype is a great milestone for the Mahindra Aerospace family. Beyond the technology, the event reflects our commitment to invest in GippsAero and becoming more globally competitive together. I have been impressed by the effectiveness of the working relationship that has developed between our Indian and Australian teams, and of the close cultural relations between our two countries", said Mr Arvind Mehra, CEO of Mahindra Aerospace Pvt Ltd.

"GippsAero is proud to have produced the prototype of the C-NM5 in partnership with our parent company Mahindra Aerospace. The construction of a working prototype in ten months is an outstanding achievement for our team, and a testament to the manufacturing skills that we have nurtured within our organisation here in Regional Victoria", said Dr Terry Miles, CEO of GippsAero Pty Ltd.

"We are very pleased that Mahindra have invested in GippsAero and had the confidence to trust us with building the prototype of this milestone aircraft and undertaking successful first flights. We are confident that following completion of the development program, the C-NM5 will receive international certification as with other GA aircraft. The achievement today also reinforces our belief in our ability to deliver our upcoming development programs for new models in the Airvan family of aircraft" said Mr George Morgan, Director of Technology at GippsAero Pty Ltd.

Press release issued by Mahindra Aerospace Pvt. Ltd. on September 14, 2011


 Contact details from our directory:
Mahindra Aerospace Pvt. Ltd. Airframer


 Related aircraft programs:
NAL/Mahindra C-NM5

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