posted on Jan, 24 2005 @ 03:40 AM
Helicopters of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited – the Public Sector Aeronautical giant literally scaled new heights on 2nd November 04 by setting new
records of high altitude flying. Braving the icy mountain tops and strong winds HAL’s helicopters set new records in high altitude operations.
An Indian Air Force Cheetal, a derivative of Cheetah with a new engine and systems, piloted by HAL’s test pilot Group Captain A.S.Butola and
Squadron Leader S.Sharma landed at ‘Saser Kangri’ in Ladhak region at a density altitude of 25,150 feet or 7670 metres above mean sea level at
8.45 AM setting a world record of high altitude landing ! Highly rarified atmosphere, strong winds and glare of blazing sun did not deter the agile &
mighty Cheetal and its crew in executing a safe landing at this awesome altitude for the first time in the history of aviation.
While the Cheetal was executing its epoch making landing – one Indian Air Force Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) ‘Dhruv’(J 4041) set another
record by flying at a density altitude of 27,000 feet or 8230 metres above mean sea level in the same region ! The mission was flown by HAL’s Chief
Test Pilot Wg.Cdr.C.D Upadhyay – a retired veteran of IAF and a winner of Vir Chakra. He was accompanied by his co-pilot – another test pilot
Wg.Cdr.Unni Pillai. This is the highest altitude ever attained by an intermediate class helicopter. Its a rare tribute to Indian endeavour made
possible by the rich contribution of HAL designers, engineers, technicians and Indian Air Force pilots who have carried out these missions with total
dedication. An excellent team effort to touch the sky with glory
Excellent indigenous design, perfect engineering and highly skilled flying are the ingredients of such remarkable success – all honed to perfection
by HAL and Indian Air Force.