As you stroll through the campus of Centurion University, you will often come across miniature models of aircraft swooping down and then levelling out. You will also spot a group of young techies busy designing aircraft and automobiles and might as well get a feeling of walking into the sets of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. But, this is no fictitious world of sci-fi. It is the only training centre for aeromodelling and automobile designing for engineering students in the city.
In 2014, two former students of the university, Himanshu Shekhar Panda and Nihar Ranjan, started conducting workshops in aeromodelling across various colleges in the city. By the end of their last semester, they had organised 20 to 25 workshops. And, this was the first step towards the establishment of Skyy Rider Institutions for Advanced Skill and Research. In 2015, Himanshu quit his job at Triveni Turbines Limited to join Nihar for launching the training centre. It has been training 1200 students each year and has reached out to at least 3,000 students by conducting workshops at various colleges. The City Express visited the institute to find out some of the prized crafts by the students.
Venturing into the aerospace
From mono-planes, bi-planes, tricopter, quadcopter to water rocketry, the students make prototypes of a variety of aircraft here. One of the most interesting prototypes was of unmanned aerial vehicles or drones. "Six months back, our students fabricated an aircraft that can carry load five times more than its weight. We changed the airfoil and certain mathematical parameters to design the same. We have tested these using Matlab and CFD software. Our students also made a prototype of a flying wing aircraft fitted with drone. It is similar to the B2-Bomber of USA. This aircraft will only have wings and everything will be fitted inside the wings. Though the American one is a bomber, our prototype has been designed for carrying cargo. The cabin crew can sit inside the wings," Himanshu explained.
Recently, a batch of students who were enrolled for vehicle designing and manufacturing training during summer break, fabricated an electric vehicle. Instead of using metal sheets, the nano-sized vehicle's body has been made up of Fibre-Reinforced Plastics (FRP). "This car can be manufactured easily. The use of fibre makes it light weight and durable as compared to other electric cars. In case of accident, minimum damage is caused to the driver as it acts a protective layer," said Nihar. The techies claim that the car can run up to 60 km per hour with battery backup of 110 km per charge. Around 70 students were roped in for designing this car, which would soon go for road test.
All that's old put to use!
Nothing is a waste here. The trainers bring discarded cars and their spare parts from around the campus or junkyards so that the students make something new with these. Another batch of 30 students made a F1 and ATV cars with metal sheets and old engine of Maruti Omni. The speed 110 km per hour. They had also designed sedans in a similar fashion.