HYDERABAD: Close to two decades before the concept of Make in India became the hot topic for discussion, 21-year-old Amol S Yadav, a trained pilot, set out to build an aircraft of his own. After two failed attempts, and a daily routine of being mocked and ridiculed, Yadav at 40 is the proud craftsman behind the development of a six-seater aircraft which he built at the terrace of a 3-BHK flat he shares with 19 family members.
One of the main attractions at the fifth edition of India Aviation starting Wednesday, Yadav’s aircraft Thrust Aircraft Carrier(TAC-003)- ‘Experimental’ has received the design approval from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, technical weighting from Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur and Nanyang Technological University-Singapore. The Federal Aviation Administration of the United States has approached Yadav for registration of the aircraft after a due test run. However, for a registration application forwarded to the Director General of Civil Aviation in 2011, Yadav and co are yet to hear a positive response.
The aircraft can now fly at a height of 10,000 to 13,000 feet non-stop for about 5 hours covering a distance of upto 2,000 km. The 350-horse power V8 piston engine manufactured by Performance Unlimited uses Octane 93 fuel, which is nothing but premium petrol used in bikes and cars. The aircraft has advanced glass cockpit system, built-in autopilot, push-screen, and a parachute system for emergencies.
In the seventy-years aviation history of independent India, Yadav becomes the first individual to approach DGCA for a registration certificate for air worthiness. “In September 2014, DGCA deleted civil aviation regulations for experimental aircrafts closing down the doors for individuals like me to design and manufacture aircrafts. They now say that no rule permits them to give my aircraft a certification,” laments Yadav.
The trained pilot, who currently works as the deputy chief pilot with the Jet Airways, points out that it was about `10 crore that he spent on building the aircraft. After earning a commercial pilot license from the aviation training in Dallas, USA, a childhood dream, Yadav started working on his first aircraft in 1999. “Everyone except my family used to laugh at me. I made mistakes and could not complete the project. But in 2003, I completed my second aircraft. I was financially exhausted and heard nothing positive from Delhi. Then, in 2009 I started working on this aircraft as my father pushed me towards our collective dream,” says Yadav.
According to him, his monthly salary from Jet Airways, his brother’s earnings and financial support from all family members went into the building of the aircraft. “I had to get an import license and then, at one time my family members had to sell their ornaments to support our dream,” he points out.
Recently, he met union ministers Manohar Parrikar and Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fanavis of seeking their support. “India does not manufacture planes. We buy them at exorbitant rates. If the requirement is there, we should start manufacturing now at least to catch up in the future. My aim is to build fighter aircrafts and 150-seater passenger aircrafts. All I need is government’s support,” said the man who aims to revolutionise Indian aviation sector.