Infrastructure

Microlight seaplane prototype developed in Karnataka | Mangaluru News

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MANGALURU: An eight-member group led by Pushparaj Ameen, an aeromodelling instructor for the past 15 years, through the Viyaddrony Research and Development Association, has developed a microlight seaplane prototype, at an approximate cost of Rs 7 lakh.
Pushparaj Ameen told TOI that the project was taken up on the lines of the Make in India initiative, and if developed, it will be ideal for island transportation and give a boost to tourism. “Gujarat has already experimented with seaplanes, and the Union government is looking to start seaplane services on several routes. We are hoping to showcase this model before the government. The team has spent nearly a year on this project, and the pandemic had delayed the completion of the works. We have named it microlight seaplane because we have incorporated the features of a microlight, that is the weight aspect in a seaplane. The funding is by the members and their friends,” he said.
Providing technical details, Pushparaj said that they used a 33hp engine, and the wingspan of the aircraft is 35ft. The materials used are aviation-grade aluminium, extruded foam, fibreglass cloth and epoxy resin, and the wing is covered with a special nylon cloth. “Generally, steel cable is used to connect the wing and fuselage, but we have replaced it with braided dacron lines. Due to financial constraints, we have used the locally available material, including hinges, and in case we obtain financial support, we will upgrade the model with imported material, and convert this into a seaplane with higher seating capacity,” he said.
The team part of the project includes Vasuraj Ameen, Abhishek Kotian, Vinay U, Reshma Bangera, Utsav U, Shayani Rao and Ashwini Rao. A few of the team members have worked on various other aeroplanes and boat models. “After working on several radio-controlled (RC) models, Pushparaj suggested that we go to the next level, and came up with this idea. The project was implemented after a lot of planning, to also ensure that money is not wasted. We are hoping for some government support so that engineering students can get hands-on experience and training in boat making and aeromodelling,” the team members said.

Read more at timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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