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 C-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” 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.
“I am delighted to see the CSIR-NAL + MAPL partnership deliver the fruits of their endeavour in a manner that augurs well for more such projects and which will provide the impetus for the development of a world class indigenous aerospace industry in India . I look forward to building on the pioneering efforts of my predecessor Dr. Upadhyaya who mentored this partnership” said Mr Shyam Shetty, Director CSIR-NAL.
“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 Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) – the premier industrial R&D organization in India – was constituted in 1942 by a resolution of the then Central Legislative Assembly. It is an autonomous body registered under the Registration of Societies Act of 1860. CSIR aims to provide industrial competitiveness, social welfare, a strong S&T base for strategic sectors and advancement of fundamental knowledge. Today, CSIR is recognised as one of the world’s largest publicly funded R&D organisations with links to academia, R&D organisations and industry. CSIR’s 37 laboratories knit India into a giant network that impacts and adds quality to the life of each and every Indian. It is also party to the prestigious Global Research Alliance with the objective of drawing from an international knowledge pool for worldwide good through global funding.
CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) is a constituent institution of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) under the Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India. CSIR-NAL is a premier aerospace research and technology development organization of the country, with activities and facilities spread over three campuses located in Bangalore. Over the last 5 decades, CSIR-NAL has successfully contributed to the growth of aerospace activities in the country, in particular to the projects of national importance in the defence and space sectors. In the last decade, CSIR-NAL has also taken up the mandate for the design and development of small civil aircraft for national needs. As a result of its successful efforts and significant contributions, CSIR-NAL has come to be recognized internationally as a major center for aerospace research and development activities.
About the Mahindra Group
The Mahindra Group focuses on enabling people to rise. Mahindra operates in the key industries that drive economic growth, enjoying a leadership position in tractors, utility vehicles, information technology and vacation ownership. Mahindra has a presence in the automotive industry, agribusiness, aerospace, components, consulting services, defence, energy, financial services, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, retail, steel and two wheelers. A US $12.5 billion multinational group based in Mumbai, India, Mahindra employs more than 1,37,000 people in over 100 countries. In 2011, Mahindra featured on the Forbes Global 2000 list, a listing of the biggest and most powerful listed companies in the world. Dun & Bradstreet also ranked Mahindra at No. 1 in the automobile sector in its list of India’s Top 500 Companies. In 2010, Mahindra featured in the Credit Suisse Great Brands of Tomorrow. Its flagship company Mahindra & Mahindra Limited is the only Indian automobile manufacturer to feature in the top 10 list of the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index in India – 2010, created by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).
In 2011, Mahindra acquired a majority stake in Korea’s SsangYong Motor Company.
For further information, please visit www.mahindra.com
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About Mahindra Aerospace (MAPL)
Mahindra Aerospace was formed in 2008 to lead the Mahindra Group’s foray into the global Aerospace components, assemblies and aerostructures manufacturing on one hand and utility aircraft on the other. In 2009, MAPL acquired Aerostaff Australia and GippsAero (formally Gippsland Aeronautics), both based in Australia. With an overall investment commitment in excess of US$100 Mn, MAPL is steadily expanding its portfolio in both aircraft and aerostructures, and has started work on developing a major aerostructures manufacturing facility in India. Its fixed-wing aircraft portfolio will soon expand to include multiple models in the 2-20 seat class, with both single engine and twin-engine aircraft on offer. Its aerostructures capability will offer multiple sourcing options leveraging global best practices in two continents.
GippsAero is the aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of Mahindra Aerospace and is located in the Latrobe Valley of Victoria in Australia. Its current production model is the GA8 Airvan, a light single-engined utility aircraft with wide application in a variety of roles including charter, tourism, emergency relief and cargo transportation. The Airvan and GippsAero’s aircraft development and production facilities in Australia are certified by several international regulators including the CASA, FAA and EASA. The Company has manufactured in excess of 200 aircraft flying in more than 30 countries world-wide, including the USA, Australia, and several nations in Europe, Africa and Asia.
For further information, please contact:
Ms. Roma Balwani
Senior Vice President & Group Head, Corporate Communications
Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
Phone: (+91-22) 2490 1441
Fax: (+91-22) 2490 0830