UAVs that came out in flying colours

UAVs that came out in flying colours

UAVs that came out in flying colours

“Hey! There is another one up there,” said a school boy and the marquee was vacant in less than a minute.  A group of school students who had just gathered to drink water rushed out of the shelter, all in one go. An Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) was in the air drawing the attention of hundreds.

Such was the response to the aerial demonstration at the backyard of the aerospace department in the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) on Saturday as part of the Open Day celebrations 2016. Two shows, one in the morning and one in the afternoon with 20 models flying were organised by the department.  On one hand, it was the vehicle that had managed to catch their eyes and on the other, the school students were all in awe to see another just about their age flying this with ease.

Nine-year-old Aditya Pawar’s controlled manoeuvre had the audience in awe. He was among the pilots flying the vehicles using remote control. An inverted low pass, a 360-degree turn, a high-speed turn, vertical charlie and a three-point landing were highlights of Pawar’s show.

“I like to fly helicopters,” said an enthusiastic Pawar as he walked out of the area designated to fly the vehicles. He was preparing to fly another.  His father Abhay Pawar who motivated his son to take it up as a hobby was quick to add that he has been flying these vehicles since he was six and a half years old.  “I did not want my children to become couch potatoes nor be addicted to iPad and PlayStation all day long. I picked it up to help them learn,” he added.

Amphibian aircraft

Besides the ones that were out for demonstration, there were many UAVs on display. The amphibian aircraft, that can take off from land and water, was among them. Designed by a team of five students guided by chief research scientist Dr Omkar S N, this vehicle can be used to collect water samples in remote areas. Having a twin-hull configuration, the equipment can travel a distance of 10 km and collect water samples. Shrilekha Mohan, project assistant, IISc, explained that in about 23 seconds, 750 ml of water can be collected.

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