YOUNG WORLD

Flying high

R. SOUNDARAJAN

Flying high

Ever since the Wright brothers — Wilbur and Orville — invented the aeroplane, which took off from the sands of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903, aircraft technology has made rapid advances in design and performance. The two world wars accelerated its progress. What began as a two engine transport and passenger planes, graduated to jet engines and turbofan engines subsequently. Then came the supersonic aircraft December 31, 1968 and the airbus, fly-by-wire system and others.

To mark the centenary year of man's first flight, India Post issued a set of four stamps on the occasion of Aero India 2003 in Bangalore, considered a top class aero event in the world.

Each stamp shows an aircraft model developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The first stamp depicts Hindustan Trainer (HT 2-1951) used for civilian and military purpose. The second stamp illustrates "Marut", a twin-engine transonic ground attack aircraft. The third pictures the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) designed for the Indian Air force, which is in use since 2001.

The Rs. 15 stamp has its motif "Dhruv", the advanced light helicopter built with state-of-the-art technology used by the Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard.