Leaving on a jet plane

Leaving on a jet plane

Hobby Club

PASSIONATE: Abhay with a glider at the air field.

Early morning every Sunday, a group of people meet at the Jakkur air field to operate their creations, in other words fly the planes that they have built. The term used for this hobby is ‘aeromodelling’ and these hobbyists call themselves ‘aeromodellers’.

“We don’t have an official club as such,” informs Abhay Pawar. “It’s just a gathering of like-minded people who are extremely passionate about aeromodelling,” he adds.

Explaining the term aeromodelling, he says, “It’s all about building a plane and flying it.

It’s a Radio Controlled (RC) sport, as you have the remote control transmitter to operate the plane and a receiver inside the plane.”

Indradev, another hobbyist who never misses the meetings at Jakkur, started aeromodelling in the 1980s. “I have always loved planes but my love for aeromodelling started during my stay in Kolkata in the 1970s, when my neighbour took me to an aeromodelling competition there,” he informs.

“It’s such an interesting hobby as it involves building as well as sport activity. It’s so absorbing,” he feels. “Besides, it provides an opportunity to people from a non technical background to learn about aerodynamics.”

Owner of around seven to eight planes at present, Indradev’s largest plane has a wingspan of about 1.5 meters, with the smallest plane having one of 25 inches.

Prashanth is another aeromodeller, who has had a passion for planes since his school days. “It wasn’t possible to focus much on it then. But as soon as I graduated and started working, I took on to aeromodelling,” he says. He vouches that there is at least one plane present in every corner of his house. “I must have built a few 100s of them,” he smiles. “Each one has an emotional value.”

Despite their busy lives, these hobbyists make it a point to spend regular time with their planes. “I spend an hour on my planes daily, building and rebuilding them,” says Indradev. “Building each plane is a project in itself,” he feels. Besides, most don’t miss a single meeting held on Sundays. “It’s like a ritual,” says Prashanth. “My Sundays are not complete without going to Jakkur.”

Abhay even conducts workshops on aeromodelling and is a visiting faculty at a technology institute. “We want to propagate the hobby,” he says. “It’s unfortunate that there are a lot of people who have the interest in aeromodelling, but they have no information on the subject,” he laments. “So even if one wants to start off with the hobby, there is no one to guide.”

He also stresses on the need to have more open spaces for aeromodelling. “If not for the Jakkur air field, one has to go all the way to a dried river bed in Hoskote to fly the planes.” Adds Prashanth, “We are highly thankful to the Jakkur authorities for giving us space.”

Indradev feels that the hobby is catching on in the City fairly well due to the advancements in technology. “It has even become more affordable due to an increase in the average income,” he notes.

Prashanth recalls a funny moment he had with one of his planes. “It was a tiny plane that I had built almost eight years ago, which once released, flew depending on the wind conditions,” he says. “One day, the wind carried it miles away and I had to run behind it to fetch it.”

For most aeromodellers, the hobby is way to destress themselves. “It’s a breakaway from the routine, where I not only get to master a plane but also mingle with creative people,” feels Prashanth.

Anyone with a true passion for aeromodelling can be a part of this group of hobbyists. However, in order to fly a plane at the Jakkur air field, one requires an identity card, which the members assure is not very difficult to obtain. “Interested people can join us on Sunday mornings at Jakkur and we will guide them accordingly,” informs Abhay.

So, if you are one of those who loves to build planes and fly them, you know where to head.

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