April 23, 2024
a latter version with the Lycoming Engine

HAL’s first ever indigenously designed and built aircraft was the HT-2 piston engined trainer that flew in the late forties. The HT-2 was designed by a team led by Dr. V M Ghatge, and after its sucessful evaluation was the Indian Air Force’s ab-initio trainer from the late fifties to the mid eighties. The aircraft was initially equipped with a Cirrus-Major engine and resembled the DHC-1 Chipmunk. In the mid eighties, some numbers were re-engined with the Lycoming Piston engine and saw service flying with the Flying Instructor’s School (FIS) in Tambaram AFS.

HAL HT-2 IX-480 at the Museum. About 160 of them were built and over 120 saw service with the Indian Air Force.
The aircraft was very similar to the De Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk in appearance. But it was very difficult to handle compared to the Chipmunk. This was the only low-wing Tail dragging aircraft produced by HAL besides the HA-31 Basant. Click to Enlarge

IX-480 the example on display is one of the rarer Lycoming powered aircraft. To our knowledge this is the first time a Lycoming example of the HT-2 has been put up on display. There are over a dozen aircraft scattered around the country but none are of this variant.

Click to Enlarge The paint scheme on IX-480 appears to have been applied by Hand after a recent restoration.

The aircraft has the label ‘HT-2’ painted on it. The stenciled instructions on the aircraft at various points also appear to have been hand painted. The aircraft appears to be in excellent condition overall, and has been well cared for. It is not known if any further Lycoming variants are surviving anywhere else. The only flyable version is the Cirrus Major Version with the IAF Museum.

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