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SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation recently de-registered 4 Boeing 747 jumbo that was not part of the Air India deal with Tata Group. The jumbo jets are nearly 30 years old. As per public information, this Boeing jumbo jet was flying top Indian dignitaries, president, PM, and VP, on medium to long haul flights until they were replaced by Air India One Boeing 777-300ER.

Ukraine-Russia war has put GTRE plans to test Dry Kaveri engine on Russian Il-76LL (Flying Lab) aircraft on definite hold. The lack of Flying Lab for New Engines testing in India means delays could eventually affect the Unmanned Strike Vehicle program which was to be equipped with a Dry Kaveri engine generating 46kN of Thrust.

B747 are only 4-engine, double-decker aircraft that can be refurbished and used as a flying laboratory. It is estimated that $70 million will be required to refurbish the aircraft, including installing the new parts and instruments, and sensors to monitor the engine’s performance.

Flying laboratories for testing new engines are a must and GTRE had demanded a few years ago to allow it to purchase an IL-76 aircraft to be used as a flying testbed for the Kaveri engine program but Russia then refused. Building a flying tester might allow GTRE’s engineering teams to more quickly move through the iterative design and testing process since 747s can survive on three engines and replacing one of the engines with an experimental model is considered completely safe.

Instead of being allowed to be scrapped. GTRE and DRDO should make attempts to procure them, even though have completed nearly 30 years in service they can be used moderately for testing of the new engines that advertently avoid situations that GTRE often finds itself. GTRE has plans to develop a 125kN Class of engine for the AMCA and TEDBF program and the flying testbed will also help develop the next generation of engines if India ever wants to become import free in the next 20 years.

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