The factory made two new Piper Archer aircraft manufactured by Piper Aircraft, USA have made their maiden flights in the skies of Nepal after accomplishing the assembly process. The test flights were done as acceptance flight too and the aircraft have moved forward to the acceptance process from the manufacturer Piper Aircraft to Nepali Army ownership.
The two aircraft of American registration ‘N7118J’ and ‘N7118L’ have been registered as ‘NA-059’ and ‘NA-60’ in Nepali registration. The two aircraft had arrived Nepal Army facility in the month of February this year straight from the manufacturer in the USA inside a container. The aircraft had been reassembled inside hangar of Nepal Army with a team of technicians from manufacturers and team of Nepal Army.
The test flights were conducted as scheduled 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM today at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). The aircraft were scheduled for test flights after the engines dispatched to Germany for inspection arrived at Army facility in TIA. The test pilot form Nepal Army was Captain Sumesh Shrestha for the test flights of two aircraft. Both the aircraft would be used for new pilots training purpose in future from western base of Nepal Army.
Nepal Army has a strategic plan of extending its fleet size to 31 by 2022 and extending its air wing bases to West Air Base in Surkhet and East Air Base in Biratnagar. The fleet in 2022 is anticipated to include 11 Fixed Wing aircraft and 20 Rotary Wing aircraft.
For this Nepal Army is soon going to receive a ‘CN-235’ aircraft on September, two ‘M28 Skytruck’ in December this year. The fleet size of fixed-wing aircraft has reached 04 after the successful test flight of these Archer aircraft.