It was a cloudless sparkling blue morning coupled with gentle breeze in the aerospace capital of India, Bangalore. At 18 minutes past 10, an aircraft painted in white and the tri-colour, throttled down the active runway and took to skies. On 4 January 2001, India created history when the indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) took off to sky on her maiden flight. Wing Commander Rajiv Kothiyal became a house hold name thereafter in the flight testing fraternity for flying a prototype of complex nature of that of LCA. It was commencement of a journey towards glory by Indian Aviation industry.Read More
He has worked with organisations like HAL and DRDO and has been the driving force behind developing India’s light combat aircraft Tejas. It was his discipline, aptitude for systems design and ability to bring together and manage so many different organizations that helped spur the Tejas programme. He has served as Chief Designer at HAL Nashik division, as Director ADE, Bengaluru, and as the LCA Programme Director at ADA in a career spanning several decades until he retired in 2002.Read More
The author, Air Marshal M.S.D. Wollen (Retd) was the chairman of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited from September 1984 to March 1988. He entered the Indian Air Force in 1947 and was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) for his exemplary role in the 1971 Indo-Pak War.
He is considered an authority on LCA, and MIGs in particular. Air Marshal Wollen has authored several papers on aviation and here he talks about Tejas and the reason why it is so important.Read More
Air Marshal Rajkumar was instrumental in setting up the National Flight Test Centre of ADA in 1994. NFTC was created specifically for flight testing the Tejas. He played a critical role in the development of the Tejas and the subsequent historical first flight that took place on the 4th of January 2001. Here he vividly describes what occurred on that momentous ocassion.Read More
Kedar Karmarkar is a renowned aviation photographer who talks about photographing Tejas. Passionate about military aviation since a young age, this San Jose based photographer leaves no stone unturned to produce visually stunning photos of the aircraft.Read More