Ravi Nirgudkar

New Delhi. 06 May 2022. Most of us must have already seen the model aircraft that flies with the help of a twisted rubber band. However, many complain that the flight of such a model is too short and not so impressive. But at international level, rubber powered model competitions are considered to be very prestigious. Especially the competition in the F1D class, which is an indoor contest, demonstrates unbelievable performances. These aircraft weigh maximum three grams and easily fly for 10 to 30 minutes. And the world record in this class is of unbelievable 61 minutes nonstop flight!!

Unfortunately, this hobby of making highly accurate, inexpensive model aircraft, is not much known to the society. In fact, it is so much rewarding that all aspiring engineers, technocrats, researchers must take up this hobby. One can attain a high level of craftsmanship skills, and practical knowledge of Geometry, Physics and Aerodynamics. Also, while maximizing performance from unevenly distributed power in rubber band, one learns the principles of Power Management of machines. That is the reason this activity is a part of Science Olympiads in USA. Even NASA uses these for advanced training and the management trainees undertake this during their 6-SIGMA training.

In order to introduce this hobby to school and colleges, Shastravahini and Alerios Aero Club has announced a National Level Competition called AEROSKILLS-2022. The world-famous BAE Systems has extended the financial support for prizes as well as for free workshops for the participants. On registration, the participants would get a laser cut model aircraft kit. They then need to build the competition model of about 8 to 10 grams, according to the video tutorials uploaded on YouTube. Post which, they will have to fly it in open ground to achieve the maximum duration of flight and then upload a video of your best performance. The models with longest flight durations would be the winners. The first three winners would get the prizes of INR 5000, 3000 and 2000. All the participants will get certificates from BAE Systems.

Applauding the competition, Ravi Nirgudkar, Managing Director, BAE Systems – India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka said “BAE Systems is delighted to support Aero skills 2022 competition. The competition aims to introduce students to advanced aerospace engineering projects and related best practices at an early stage.
“From being the core contributor in establishing the Air Force Technical College in 1949 to supporting STEM education and aviation-specific competitions, BAE Systems has always looked for ways to support the development of India’s talent pool in aerospace. Aligned with our commitment, we are glad to support Aeroskills 2022 competition, which aims to develop and nurture aerospace skills among students by giving them practical understanding of aerodynamics and mechanics of flight.” Ravi Nirgudkar added.

Shantanu Sapre, President, ALERIOS Aero Club said, ”I have been pursuing Aeromodelling for a decade now, and it has played a vital role in shaping my interest in aviation. I formed ALERIOS Aero Club with my friends to spread this hobby far and wide. Rubber Powered Aeromodelling has helped me develop patience, improve my craftsmanship and understand the concepts of aerodynamics, structural engineering and power management practically in a very cost effective manner. I would urge the budding engineers to take up this hobby to implement the theoretical knowledge they gain at the graduate level. We are getting an overwhelming response for this contest from all over India, leading to 100+ registrations in the short time span and about 80 more registrations can be taken further. The last date for registration is 8th May 2022.”