HAL and ADA have displayed LCA -Tejas LSP-1 (KH2011) in Aero India 2017. While some media reports hinted that the real aircraft is been displayed for the first time and Business visitors will be allowed to check the aircraft and also take a peek inside the cockpit of the LCA-Tejas aircraft.

Why do we call it a Con?

A freelance reporter Vinayak Shetti hired by immediately after reaching near the displayed aircraft found something fishy about the build and paint quality of the aircraft.

Shetti on closer inspection from the rear fuselage found clear disparity and dummy looking engine exhaust. what intrigued shetti was that HAL employees near displayed aircraft were preventing visitors from touching the aircraft and he also heard one guest been told: ” Sir do not lean on the aircraft, you could damage the sensors in it “.

Shetti decided to check Cockpit of the aircraft and saw a huge line of visitors waiting their turn to peek into. Shetti while standing in the line found two HAL employees standing in line to check the aircraft, he decided to start a conversation with them.

Conversation as follows

Shetti: Sir, are you from LCA Division?
HAL Emp 1: No we are not
Shetti: Sir is it real LCA?
HAL Emp 1: Yes it is
Shetti: It looks odd and build quality seems off (interrupted)
HAL Emp 2: It could be old LSP
Shetti: Yes, they said it is LSP-1 (KH2011)
HAL Emp 1: hmm

After few minutes Conversation as follows

HAL Emp 2: look at the tire it’s so worn out
HAL Emp 1: Yes
HAL Emp 2: wings look like woody, is it real aircraft?
HAL Emp 1: I think you are right it looks like a mockup
Shetti: look at rivets they look painted
HAL Emp 1: let’s ask him ( Head Pointing towards another HAL employees manning near cockpit )

Once near Cockpit Conversation as follows

HAL Emp 1: This does not look like real aircraft!
HAL Cockpit Emp: Sir,havduh yedtha alla reh ( Kannada ) (Sir, it’s not)
HAL Emp 2: cockpit real ahha? ( Kannada ) ( is cockpit real ?)
HAL Cockpit Emp: Havduh sir, yedh real
HAL Emp 2: nadeathhu? (Does it work?)
HAL Cockpit Emp: Avionics, Display yellah karedthu ,adrah yellah halleh parts hu ( All are Real but not working and old parts )
Shetti: Is it Mockup?
HAL Emp 2: Yes, we were right only Cockpit is real but not working one
Guest to HAL Cockpit Emp: Is it real aircraft?
HAL Cockpit Emp to Guest: Yes it is real aircraft
HAL Emp 1, HAL Emp 2 and Shetti: looking at each other have a small laugh and walk down.

Later ADA employee speaking to shetti confirmed that it was actual LCA cockpit placed into mockup aircraft. We are still unsure why HAL was keen on passing it off has real aircraft, Saab also had displayed a Gripen E Mockup with actual cockpit into it, but at least they were sincere and upfront about it.

Vinayak Shetti used to operate fan based LCA-Tejas website a few years ago is also aviation enthusiast

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