Nagpur: Air Vice Marshal SC Chafekar AVSM SC (Retd) interacted with school and college children by way of a presentation on landing at highest air strip in the world Daulat Beg Oldie. He explained the challenge of landing an aircraft at such a high altitude and an airstrip which is not made of concrete or even tar. The audience were amazed at the environmental challenges, deftness, courage and professionalism of the pilots of Indian Air Force. AVM Chafekar later got into the HPT-32 aircraft which was recently gifted to Raman Science Centre, Nagpur by Air Mshl Hemant Sharma AVSM VSM AOC-in-C Maintenance Command, IAF on 15 Dec 17.
The students of engineering colleges such as RKMEC and Priyadarshini college of engineering were explained about the aircraft, its aerodynamics, instruments and structure by AVM Chafekar. The students asked a number of questions and got the technical answers which they had been looking for in their text books. The Orange city Science Fair was inaugurated by Air Mshl RKS Shera AVSM VSM, SMSO, Maintenance Command, IAF and Chairman of Aeronautical Society of India, Nagpur chapter. As promised in 2016 Air Mshl RKS Shera was instrumental in arranging the aircraft to be positioned at Raman Science Centre within one year.
India’s indigenously built HPT-32 ‘Deepak’ by HAL was used for initial pilot training and other utility tasks. The ‘Deepak’ was developed by HAL for the IAF to replace the tandem two-seat HT-2 basic trainer and to undertake a range of other utility roles like armed patrol, observation, liaison work, supply dropping, SAR recon, glider, target towing, weapon training and even for light weight strike. ‘Deepak’ first flew in 1981 and was delivered to IAF Training Command in 1984 for formal instructions in basic flying. Notably, many of the top IAF Officers have trained on HPT-32.
The prototype first flew on 06 Jan 1977, followed by a second on Mar 1979. Further, the aircraft was re-designed with various aerodynamic changes and underwent a weight reduction programme. The third prototype, built to the definitive production standard, flew in July 1981. The first production batch of 24 aircraft was followed by successive re-orders up to 120 aircraft delivered through early 1980s.