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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has selected Pratt & Whitney developed PW127M turboprop engine to power its corporate, Avro Hawker Siddeley HS748 aircraft ‘Subroto’ which is used by the company to ferry its Top Management along with it, the aircraft will also get a new ‘glass cockpit’ that will replace all analog systems so the aircraft could be in service for another 20 years.

Present Rolls-Royce RDa.7 Dart Mk 536-2 turboprop engines used on the AVRO HS 748 are out of production now and spares are getting harder to come by, but the aircraft, which was designed to be used as a Commercial airliner even after being in service with HAL for 40 years, utilization of the airframe life was just 30%, with plenty of airframe life remaining and condition still being in top-notch, it was decided to be upgraded with newer engine and Avionics.

HAL plans to use ‘Subroto’ as a Technological Demonstrator aircraft to make a pitch to upgrade 50 odd AVRO aircraft which are still in service with Indian Air Force (IAF). Many of the AVRO aircraft in service with IAF has been grossly underutilized due to its poor freight carrying capabilities due to which, the majority of the fleet still has plenty of airframe life left since they were mostly limited to VVIP and Troop Transport. 

The PW127M is a derivative of the PW127F and PW127E engines that today power the ATR 42-500 and ATR 72-500 regional turboprop aircraft. PW127M turboprop engine is designed to deliver even better performance in both hot and high conditions like found in India and over 4000 engines are operational world over, new engines will breathe in a new lease of life at least for One Avro Hawker Siddeley HS748 aircraft, while IAF remains non-committal on upgrading its fleet. 

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