Agency combines skills with science, aerodynamics with fun

Agency combines skills with science, aerodynamics with fun


Agency combines skills with science, aerodynamics with fun

So what if Bengaluru is India's celebrated aeronautical hub. Has it really inspired youngsters take up careers in aviation? Taking the aero-modelling route to accomplish that task, Happy Landings India (HLI) now has an entirely unique flight plan.

Showing off their chuck gliders and catapult-based aircraft models at the Metro Rangoli Art Center here, the Happy Landings team were on a mission: To beckon youngsters to the soaring heights of aerodynamics, letting them into a world of physics, materials and aircraft structures. Founded in October 2015 by Leo Peter Charles and Pradeep Vijay, HLI has so far trained over 3,000 students through tie-ups with the Air Force Technical College and private engineering colleges.

Trained teams had also participated in the SAE Aero Design competition in the United States. Made of paper and balsa wood (a low-density material, 80% of which is produced by Ecuador), the models on display told a story of step-by-step learning.

As Pradeep explained, the chuck models would have to be first built part by part, chu­cked and flown with an understanding of the aerodyna­m­ics. The gliders would glide like the Fire Fly or the Mustang, an American fighter aircraft active through World War II. Mastering the chuck gliders, the students would venture into the catapults. HLI had the Macaw, catapulted to higher altitudes and longer ranges, even if a few seconds more than the gliders. 

The radio-controlled Zaps and Sharks would be next. “Aero-modelling incorporates knowledge and skill from a vast spectrum of pure and applied sciences. It involves developing one’s skill in carpentry, sheet metal work, engine mechanics, adhesives and more,” said Leo Peter.

The duo had bundled the skill sets to train over 900 rural students in Ramanagaram under the Skill India programme. “It is a conglomeration of various branches of engineering and hence, avoids the compartmentalisation that exists due to old methods of teaching and rote learning.”

For this summer, HLI has designed an aero-modelling summer camp at Just Books, Vidyaranyapura. Participants will be introduced to the basics of aircraft, flight and aeromodelling; hands-on chuck glider building and RC flight simulator training. Also on offer are weekend aeromodelling workshops.