Up in the air

Flying high

Up in the air

They came, they built, they conquered. A number of talents put forth their best model aircraft at the recently-held ‘2nd National Seminar & Exhibition on UAV Technologies and Air Show’.

The programme, organised by the Rotary Club of Bangalore (RCB), was held at the Jain Global Campus in Kanakapura Taluk and had people of different age groups in attendance. The event, which was held with the aim of bringing the scientific community together, started with an inaugural programme which had a welcome address by Dr N Sundararajan, Vice Chancellor, Jain University.

   It had distinguished guests from Rotary as well as the field of science like Ram Kumarr Seshu (President, RCB); Dr K Tamilmani, Rtn Manjunath Shetty, Dr Shyam Chetty, Dr C G Krishnadas Nair, Dr  Ranga Rao and Lt Gen Dr VJ Sundaram addressing the audience.

The chief guest for the event was Dr V K Aatre, visiting professor, IISC and former SA to Raksha Mantri, Govt of India, who spoke about the various uses of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). “It can be used in defence or civilian work but its civilian applications are more useful and interesting,” he said.

“However, we suffer from the velocity of implementation. Putting our creations for marketing is a challenge. I don’t know why it takes the kind of time it does,” he lamented. “There is a huge gulf between the mind and market and I don’t know if it is because we underestimate our time or overestimate our potential,” he added.

Dr Shyam Chetty, Director, CSIR, NAL, felt that there is no better technology than aero space. “It encompasses all aspects of science and engineering,” he noted. On a lighter note, Lt Gen Dr VJ Sundaram  pointed out that these models could be used to transport things. “You may be sitting in Jain Global Campus and eating what your grandmother makes in Malleswaram,” he joked. 

The inauguration was followed by an air show where in participants showcased the various model aircraft that they had built — from a cod copter dropping flowers to an ornithopter, which flapped its wings like a bird, to one that was hand launched. Vikas, a project scientist with the NAL team, was delighted to be part of the event. “We have displayed different types of UAV. The Pushpak, we are showcasing, can be used for aerial surveillance. It has an autopilot board where you can control the plane using a computer,” he said as the Pushpak flew high in the air.

Kishore Jonnalagadda, the director of Drone Aerospace, was also present with his team. “Events like these create enthusiasm among younger generations. Earlier, one didn’t have opportunities like these. At least now, we will have more young entrepreneurs,” he said.

Even the enthusiasts in the audience were pleased. Mahendra Pyati, a visitor, said, “There should be more events like these for people to showcase their creations. The models are used for various things like surveillance and photography but there should be one platform where all can come together.”

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