Flights of Fantasy at Shaastra

From ornithopter to quadcopter, the annual Remote Control Air Show grabbed eyeballs on IITM campus.

Published: 05th January 2015 06:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th January 2015 01:07 PM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: From crows and pigeons chasing ornithopter to remote control aircraft in vertical suspension in mid-air and planes hovering at arm’s length over the crowds, thousands of air-show enthusiasts, who gathered at IIT-Madras for the annual Remote Control Air Show, had their eyes glued to the skies.

Flights.JPGThe event organised as part of the Shaastra, a technical fest, had participants from across the country and abroad for its show that took off at the IIT-Madras Grounds on Sunday.

It started with a quadcopter, a four-armed spider-like rotor by Arul Sengan taking up the Shaastra banner into the skies. Soon, Jase Dussia, a 15-year-old from the US, had taken the crowd in his hands as his plane took off, rotating on its axis, nose-diving and going upside down its length, all in mid-air.

The remote-controlled flight even managed to disappear into the trees beyond the ground and come zooming back after a few minutes. But what saw the maximum cheer was when the flight, which was was vertically moving up into the sky, suspended itself in mid-air with its wings stretching up on both sides.

While in last year’s show the Limca Book of Records-winning ornithopter, a flight which imitates the movement of birds, had a dog chasing after it thinking it to be a bird, this time around the flight managed to fool the birds. As the little white plane took to the skies, crows and pigeons soon crowded around chasing after it as it moved left and right. A crow managed to nudge the flight, much to the amazement of the crowd.

The DJI Phantom of V Jayaprakash, a copter was another key attraction. The multi-rotor went so high up into the sky that the machine was a little dot, before it dove down to an arm’s length of the crowd.

The event was not without goof-ups, as one of the flights, an IIT-Madras home product, found itself back on the ground minutes after it went up.

The festival featured both day and night air-shows with night shows having the aircraft lit up and moving in the sky.

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