The aircraft which has been selected by the IAF is the CTSW, manufactured by Flight Design, Germany. This aircraft has been chosen due to its combination of its reliable Rotax engine, high cruise speed, safety, range and comfort. It has the ability to land at short and rough fields, and is made of advanced composite materials. It has a ‘Dynon’ EFIS-EMS glass cockpit, two Garmin GPSs, SATCOM, ‘Tru Trak’ autopilot, Mode S transponder.
Carbon-Aramid cockpit shell, strong landing gear, Ballastic parachute rescue system, Four point harness for the crew.
The CTSW structure is made from very latest carbon fiber construction with rigid foam core and epoxy matrix with vacuum technology. All supporting structure
consists of Carbon and/or Aramid fibers.
Take-off power max at 5.800 1/min (max. 5 min): 73.5 KW (100 HP) Continuous power at 5.500 1/min: 69 KW (95 HP) Maximum RPM in level flight: 5800 1/min (max. 5 min) Idling speed: 1500 1/min (2.100 at flight) Cruising flight: 4.200 – 5.500 1/min Fuel type: 93-97 Octane unleaded Premium Petrol / AVGAS 100LL Fuel consumption at take-off: 24 L/hour Fuel consumption at cruising flight: 18 L/hour Fuel consumption at max cruising power: 20 L/hour (5.200 RPM = 75% of the power)
Vmin minimum speed 65 km/h IAS VCR: cruising speed 240 km/h IAS VC 75%: with 912S 240 km/h IAS VNE: max.permissible airspeed 301 km/h IAS Take-off run 90 m / 300 ft. Take-off distance over 15m obstacle 160 m / 762 ft. Max. range with 130l @ 180 km/h 1800 km / 1000 Nm.
Lot of preparatory work has gone in flight planning. The route has to meet all guidelines of the FAI. In addition, several factors have been kept in mind for route selection:
- Aircraft Performance and Range
- Climate and local weather
- Possible political problem areas
- Terrain including legs over water and sparsely populated areas
- Optimum rationalization of rest days, maintenance halts and the need to cover distance as fast as possible
- Alternate airports, fuel reserves, best possible airway/off airway routes
- Fuel availability, customs and immigration, runway length and elevation
The highly experienced crew were sent to the aircraft manufacturer in Germany for conversion. Apart from this they were exposed to IFR route flying in Dornier 228. Prior to commencing the expedition, they would also do long range and over sea flying in the CTSW within India.
The crew have been trained on first line servicing and minor repairs on the aircraft in Germany. They have also undergone specialist training on the Rotax engine, with Dee Greaves India Ltd.
An expedition of this nature requires peak physical fitness. Both pilots have been following a carefully designed programme of aerobic conditioning and strength training. The pilots have lost weight, which is an added bonus as more useful load can be carried.
Air regulations and International aviation law:
Pilots have been exposed to international flying procedures in Germany. They have also been extremely busy refreshing basic aviation knowledge, which will prove extremely handy.