Mumbai, Aug 11: The auto major Mahindra & Mahindra's aerospace arm Mahindra Aerospace today said it is hopeful of launching its first aircraft, the NM5, in the next six weeks.
“If everything goes well and according to our plan, we will be able to launch the five-seater NM5 aircraft, developed in association with the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL,) as early as within the next six weeks,” president of Mahindra Systech, the holding company of Mahindra Aerospace, Hemant Luthra told a select media gathering here.
On commissioning of its upcoming airframe unit in Bangalore, he said, “Civil contracts for the Rs 300-crore unit have already been awarded and the full-fledged aeroplane bodyshop should be up and running by June 2012.”
“Though we want to make the Bangalore unit to be a full-fledged aircraft manufacturing facility, to begin with, we will only be able to manufacture certain body frame components. As and when we start production, that would make us the first private company to design and develop a general aviation aircraft in the country,” Luthra said.
Currently, the firm is using its Australian facility of GippsAero, which it had acquired last year, for manufacturing the GA10 aircraft, which it had introduced in the country early this year.
The Mahindra Aerospace had in December 2008 tied up with the state-run National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore to produce a general aviation aircraft.
The NAL had successfully developed the Hansa and Saras aircraft. This is the first public-private joint venture in the aircraft design in the country.
The deal also involves developing a 70-seater regional transport aircraft, besides a 50-90-seater turboprop and turbetan family. PTI