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  • Indian pilot builds indigenous aircraft from aluminium alloy; waiting for flying permission

  • DETAIL

    Thrust Aircraft Private Limited is a unique venture was started by a self-motivated entrepreneur Capt. Amol Shivaji Yadav. He is a Deputy Chief Pilot by profession and has been working on building indigenous aircraft for past 17 years.

    Amol Yadav assembled his first aircraft by himself on the rooftop of his Mumbai house in 2003. After  six years and two trials he could procure the right materials and machinery to build a six-seater plane named TAC003. He sourced aluminium alloy from a domestic supplier to make his aircraft and also another fabricator to make the parts.

    News

    The plane has a 350 horse-power engine, can reach heights of up to 13,000 feet at 1500 feet per hour. It can cover a distance of 2000 kilometres at a top speed of 185 nautical miles (342.6 km) per hour. The plane can carry a weight of 1450kg and could seat five people.

    His aircraft was certified by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), and he featured it in the Make in India campaign in February 2016. After the taxi test, his aircraft is awaiting flying permission from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the regulatory body that decides who flies in India's airspace.

    Despite the delay, Yadav is hopeful of flying off his aircraft. He has been liaising with the Maharashtra Chief Minister and former Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for his project. He believes it’s a matter of time before the DGCA clears TAC003's maiden flight. He has also started working on the prototype for TAC005, a 19-seater aircraft that already has potential buyers showing interest. Like his earlier aircraft, Yadav will build this one too on the terrace of his building in Mumbai.

    "My team (of 42 members) works on the body, and we get a fabricator to build the parts from aluminium alloy. The TAC005 is designed with a Pratt and Whitney engine and Rockwell Collins navigations systems. The prototype will take another 12 months or so to build, if the finance comes through. After that, we plan to start producing more for buyers.”

    Though he has not received any sponsorship and financial aids for his project, he is optimistic about his plans to build and sell aircrafts in India. According to him the greatest difficulty lies in convincing people that an Indian citizen alone can build a safe aircraft and then proving that it can fly.

    As the Modi Government is keen to encourage air transport with the UDAN scheme that will promote low-cost regional connectivity, his project can be a positive step forward. He sees endless possibilities for smaller aircraft in India. Yadav says as he lays them out. "There are more than 30 airports in Maharashtra; nearly every district has one and if these are brought up to speed, you need smaller airplanes that can connect every single district in the state.”

     

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