Aero modellers display at Sholavaram airstrip

On a bright Sunday morning, aircraft knifed the sky at the Sholavaram airstrip.

Curious children were seen standing on their toes for a better look at the miniatures in the air.

‘Flying Machines’ organised by The Hindu and the Rotary Club of Meenambakkam saw aero modellers effortlessly control multicoloured aircrafts, helicopters and jets.

T.N.T. Rajasekar, 50, spends his Saturdays assembling parts of aircraft he imports from the US. On Sundays, he turns up at the Sholavaram airstrip to test his flying machines.

“After 20 years of practice, it now takes me just a day to assemble an aircraft. An amateur aero modeller may take more than a week or two. Once you turn into an expert, you can even fly a real aircraft,” he said.

His flying models possess most of the controls a real aircraft would contain such as elevators, throttles and air brakes, Mr. Rajasekar said.

Since the past six months, his grandson, seven-year-old S.K. Aadeshwar, has been giving him company at the airstrip on Sundays. “I have seen my grandfather fly aircraft from the time I was three. I have developed a liking for it. When I grow up, I wish to become an aeronautical engineer,” said Aadeshwar whose favourite aircraft is F16 Rafale.

Also present at the event were research scholars from the department of avionics at Madras Institute of Technology (MIT). They handled Dhaksha, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

K. Senthil Kumar, professor in the avionics department at MIT, said Dhaksha had been designed for use in the military. “Recently, our model was used for VIP surveillance during the Tiruvannamalai Karthigai Deepam. We are now working to upgrade this model,” he said.

Air Force officers present at the event exchanged ideas with the participating aero modellers. President of Rotary Club of Meenambakkam, Nirmala Raj, and deputy director of Orient Flight School, V. Govindraj, were among those present at the event.

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