The Hindu | Dindigul | December 26, 2015 | | Tamil Nadu |
Aeromodelling, a popular hobby in the USA and European countries, will soon become a hobby of rural students in the district, thanks to the efforts taken by an M. Tech (Aerospace) graduate in Dindigul. S. Prabahar has developed a low-cost aeromodel using locally available materials to motivate rural students, especially in government schools, to take up research in physics and aerospace. Aeromodelling is unheard of at villages. It is popular in cities such as Chennai and Coimbatore. “Introducing the concept of aeromodelling among students alone will suffice as it will automatically act as a catalyst to kindle their enthusiasm and ultimately lead them to take up coveted careers such as pilot, aircraft designer, technician and aerospace engineer,” says Mr. Prabahar.
In foreign countries, they design aeromodels using balsa wood, polystyrene and card stock. Such models cost Rs. 20,000 or more. Transmitter used to operate aeromodels costs up to Rs. 1 lakh. “At present, we use coroplast, dapron and expanded polypropylene sheets and other locally available materials to make aeromodels. Besides, we need to concentrate on weight, balance and strength of the model and focus on flight characteristics of the model. We make model parts in our CNC unit that helps scale down costs considerably. Basic model transmitter is being used for aeromodelling demonstration. Continuous research is on in using the latest technologies to reduce production cost to a minimum,” he says.
Flying radio-controlled aeromodelling is an excellent hobby. It sharpens one’s skills in aerodynamics, electronics and mechanics, and makes the students love physics. Above all, it will bring the students back to open ground to play. “We have plans to go to government schools at villages to demonstrate it free of cost to motivate students. Now, we conduct demos at Mottanampatti village at weekends and try our new models,” he adds. Mr. Prabahar, who began his career as an assistant professor in a private engineering college, is now a professional designing pilot engineering machines and tools for engineering colleges and design machines for companies. – Courtesy