By Ishani Jain.
Launched with the mission to provide a unified national platform for students interested in aerospace and related engineering disciplines and to demonstrate their aeromodelling expertise, the Boeing National Aeromodelling Competition provided a refreshing, roller coaster ride akin spectacle at Nalanda grounds on 12th April,2014.
Despite it being a hot summer day, the enthusiasm of the participants was so infectious that I remained glued to my seat from 7:00a.m, to 3:00p.m. 13 teams from 4 zones of IITD, IITB, IITKgp and IITM brought out their aircrafts and displayed some truly breathtaking maneuvering skills, fighting their way through poles and birds, making deep plunges and stall turns (that required control, by the way, since the plane was supposed to be switched off for a fraction of second and then propelled back), forming cuban eight and vertical eights with rolling around its own axis while losing height.
Many a times, the birds were the showstoppers, the best moments being a battle of wits between Md. Shadman Alam,who was the runner-up for the event, and a bird whom he intentionally chased in his first round which then came back to have its revenge in round 2.The bird lay down flat on his plane during his demonstration of the painstaking horizontal eight and deboarded only after the plane had landed. Some planes, especially those with better transmitter power, provided for a nail-biting experience fighting their way through trees, judges' heads and poles.Team IIT Kanpur's plane seemed determined to make its way to Aravali (that is to say that they demonstrated excellent control). Well, Aravali or not, they made their way to finshing as the 2nd runner-ups for the day with Tabrez Nadvi Anser, Pavan MJ and Vignesh from ACS College of Engineering, Bangalore standing as the champions in glory. There were heart- breaking moments too when the plane from Sri Bhagwan Mahaveer College of Engineering shattered on colliding with a pole; losing their 1st chance at Round 1.But they came back with vengeance for Round 2,demonstrating great range – from a distance of a few meters during horizontal eight to around 100 meters for the horizontal loop.They too struck a bird during their vertical loop,lost some height but the controller managed to gain back his senses just in time.
The judges' panel comprised of Ashish Pallapothu from Aerotrix, and Professor S. Veeravalli and Professor Deepak Dubey from IIT Delhi. The Organising team headed by Mr. Pavan Poonagati, Aerotrix ran pillar to post making sure that there were minimum glitches. The event was sponsored by Boeing in association with Aerotrix and the prize money was INR 1,00,000 for the champions and INR 50,000 and 30,000 for the first and second runner-ups respectively. The winners were announced in an end-of-event ceremony held at Bharti101 and were honored by Professor R.K. Shevgonkar,Director IIT Delhi and Bala Bhardavaj, Director of Technology at Boeing. The party then moved to the Hockey Field where a sumptuous buffet was organised.
The students from the Organising Team were so overwhelmed by the experience that they hatched the idea of an Aero Club at IIT Delhi (they even have the logo ready!!) and have spoken to the Director of Boeing, Abhishek Mitra and professors from the Organising team about starting the same. I’m in too: after this grand event and rejuvenating experience it would be a shame if I didn't try my hand at aeromodelling!!