Sunday, January 26, 2020

A lifelong love takes flight

At a time when the profession or even the term was relatively unknown, Sadanand Kale, now 57, embarked on a journey to become an aeromodeller.

Starting from building a free flight rubberpowered aircraft from waste material in 1978, Kale has recently built a radio controlled model of the Rafale fighter jet, which will soon be inducted into the Indian Air Force.

Kale credits his father with his passion for aeromodelling. He was a science teacher with a keen interest in aeromodelling.

“He made me build my first aircraft using waste material like broomsticks, sparklers’ wire, ice cream sticks and thread rubber, for the NCERT Science Exhibition in 1978. I was in the sixth grade at the time. I bagged the first prize in the competition. The then Prime Minister Indira Gan dhi had inaugurated the exhibition and she also flew the model I had created,” Kale recalls.

According to Kale, aeromodelling was popular during the World War II period, but dipped after. The next big opportunity for Kale came in 1982 when the country celebrated the golden jubilee of Indian civil aviation.

“JRD Tata flew from Karachi to Mumbai in a re-enactment of the country’s first commercial flight. My father and I presented him with a model of the Puss Moth Aircraft which he used on the occasion,” Kale said.

After such achievements under his sleeve, there was no turning back for Kale. “My father would take workshops on aeromodelling in schools and I would often accompany him. We started conducting shows later. We have conducted over 500 shows using radio-controlled model aircraft since. Even the third generation of my family is associated with the same passion. Due to the lack of open fields and space in Pune, my family moved base to Satara 10 years ago so that my children could train. My elder son is now working on drone technology while my younger son works with me,” he said.

During a show held recently in the city, Kale and his son Atharva, displayed 12 aircraft. “We had made a flying eagle, which was funnily attacked by birds in the air during the show. Then we had a radio-controlled electric glider, the electric motor of which was shut once airborne. We then had a flying saucer, flying fish, a banner towing and flower dropping aircraft. The highlights, however, were the models of the fighter aircraft which are used by the Indian Air Force. We had MiG 21, Mirage 2000, Sukhoi Su-30, Tejas and Rafale,” he stated.
26/01/20 Rujuta Parekh/Times of India
To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment