National Aerospace Laboratories in Bangalore is close to signing a research and development cooperation agreement with Boeing. It also plans to set up two testing facilities for Pratt & Whitney, NAL's director A R Upadhya said on Tuesday.
Upadhya said the MoU with Boeing would be in aerodynamics, various configurations, crashworthiness of flying vehicles and composites development.
Pointing out that Boeing already had an MoU with the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, on innovation and development, he said it is possible that NAL will get involved in that cooperation agreement or work out a separate pact.
Upadhya said the first facility for Pratt & Whitney, a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines, at NAL campus here, in the area of turbine blade rotary tests, is expected to be commissioned next month.
"The second facility is in the field of internal flows which has already been shipped to us," he told PTI. "We will do collaborative research and joint testing with Pratt & Whitney in turbine blades, compressors and related areas".
He also said, "Bell Helicopters and similar other companies are approaching us for either some sort of collaborative work or cooperation agreement or sponsored research. We are looking at them."
Upadhya said the 14-seater civilian aircraft Saras, designed and developed by NAL, has completed nearly 30 flights and the second prototype is slated to fly in the first quarter of next year.
The second prototype would have higher power engine, 30 per cent more powerful than the first one. NAL is also launching a weight-reduction programme for Saras and looking to reduce the weight of the aircraft by 350 to 400 kgs by using advanced composites. Saras was expected to go for certification in 2007, he added.
According to him, NAL, a constituent of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, is seeking Australian certification for Hansa, an all-composite, two-seater trainer aircraft designed and developed by the civil R & D establishment in aeronautics and allied disciplines, in a bid to market it overseas."We are also working on a four-seater version of Hansa," Upadhya said.