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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

India plans to develop an indigenously developed light transport aircraft Saras Mark 2 version which is an improved version of the original Saras multirole light transport aircraft being designed and developed jointly by Indian companies National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Mark 2 will also drop out its rare pusher propeller engine configuration and will instead now feature a tractor-mounted propeller engine on a nacelle configuration. The improved version will be a 19-seater aircraft instead of a 14-seater proposed earlier and move to drop pusher propeller engine configuration was due to many advantages as the tractor configuration which is more efficient since the blockage of the nacelle is less than that of a fuselage.

Saras Mk 2 will be competing to be used as a commuter connectivity aircraft under the UDAAN scheme and can also be used by IAF for Transport and Vip movement. The Mark 2 version has considerable drag/weight reduction with unique features like high cruise speed, lower fuel consumption, short landing and take-off distance, low cabin noise, operable from the high and hot airfield, with a pressurized cabin, operable from semi-prepared airfield and low acquisition and maintenance cost.

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