Mumbai aviator ready to soar with his terrace-made plane

By Quaid Najmi
Mumbai, Aug 15 : Mumbai pilot Capt Amol Yadav — who created ripples in the aviation industry by making a 6-seater aircraft on his building terrace in Kandivali — is now all set to soar in the skies with his beautiful bird.

“This week, we completed the final ‘test flight’ in the presence of the aircraft insurers and it was a super success. We have already secured all relevant permissions from the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation, plus an airstrip and parking arrangements for my aircraft in Dhule,” an elated Capt Yadav told IANS.

Now, Yadav, 44, — ably helped by his brothers Rashmikant and Prashant — is preparing to unveil their next move, which they hint could catapult India into global aviation history.

“Since the R&D on the project is over and we are tying up certain ends, we cannot disclose anything as we plan to make the announcement in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, maybe in a couple of months or so,” Rashmikant interjected.

The August 11 ‘final test flight’ with over a dozen take-offs/landings, checking all the aircraft’s performance and vital parameters, was conducted at the Dhule airstrip and the home-built plane passed with flying colours.

The Dhule ‘final test flight’ involved performance tests of the aircraft, VT-NMD, taxiing at slow-fast speeds, turning at various speeds, take-offs, whether the aircraft can be controlled in flight, landing at various speeds, proper braking while landing, etc, which were completed successfully, he said.

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“I thought it appropriate to make the announcement of our milestone achievement on the country’s 74th I-Day. All the aircraft-related tests are over, now it will be the tests of the pilots or commanders. We have to do the circuit test and airport-to-airport flying, which can be done in a couple of days,” Yadav said confidently.

Yadav and his two brothers Rashmikant and Prashant, both in the realty business, expressed their heartfelt gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi whose push helped his company Thrust Aircraft Pvt. Ltd. zoom to the skies.

Now, the Yadav trio is hopeful that the state government will move ahead with the proposal to allot a 152-acre plot in Palghar for the indigenous aircraft project.

“All clearances on the land allotment are given, barring the state cabinet’s final nod. We hope Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will take necessary steps to encourage this unique ‘Make in Maharashtra’ venture,” Rashmikant added.

The rigorously tested aircraft is fitted with a custom-built engine by Proformance Unlimited, Florida, has a maximum take-off weight of 2010 kg, seats 6 persons, can climb 1,500 feet per second to reach 13,000 feet and fly upto 2,000 kms at a top speed of 185 nautical miles.

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The brothers recalled their tough days when Amol spent days, weeks, months and years on the building terrace, to turn his dream into reality for the past nearly two decades.

So far, he has spent a total of Rs 10 crores – including around Rs 5.50 crore on the VT-NMD – by putting in his salary every month, the two brothers sacrificing their income from the realty business and mortgaging their 1600-sq feet flat, father Shivaji giving up his savings and mother Madhavi selling her ‘mangalsutra’ to finance the venture.

“I made two similar aircraft previously, but had to abandon them due to various reasons. The planes virtually rotted and fell apart as we were busy running for finances and chasing various clearances, vital parts were also stolen and both the aircraft were rendered useless,” said Yadav.

Yadav has met and briefed President R. N. Kovind, Prime Minister Modi, former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and others on the indigenous aircraft project.

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at q.najmi@ians.in)

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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