Twin, tail-mounted, pusher PT6A turboprops give the 18-seat Saras (Crane) a novel look. Not yet assigned to a manufacturer, this project of India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research has been running for two decades and, in spite of considerable assistance from the Myasishchev Design Bureau in Russia, has only generated two overweight, non-conforming prototypes, the first flown in May 2004.
Subsequently, Piaggio has also been brought in to assist with getting the Saras shipshape, but a conforming third prototype is now two years overdue and fighting to lose 1,100 pounds to gain operational credibility. Published range is 756 nm. with eight passengers, but just 216 nm. with all 18 aboard.