Friday, June 03, 2022

Hyderabad: Indo-French conference highlights India’s aviation history

Hyderabad: A conference on History of Indo-French aviation was held at Science Beyond Borders, an exhibition at BM Birla Science museum in the city on June 3. The artistic, cultural, educational, and literary exhibition, which showcases 137 slides, will be open to the public every day from 10:30 am to 8 pm from June 4 to June 26.

During the conference, the panelists showcased the historic Indian and French connection in the domain of aviation. They spoke of Indian aviators who served in the flying arm of the British army during World War I.

One can’t miss on Indra Lal Roy when speaking of aviation and Indian fighter pilots. He shot down nine German planes in less than two weeks during World War I. That earned him the reputation of being an ‘ace‘ flyer, a tag conferred on pilots who shot down five enemy aircraft.

The topic of discussion for the History of Indo-French aviation was chaired by CEO of Blue Horizons Strategic Engineering Pvt. ltd and Air Vice Marshal S Bhanoji Rao VSM (Retired).

The speakers included Sqn. Ldr. Rana Chhina (Retired), author of the aviation section, Convenor of Hyderabad chapter of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) Dr. Anuradha Reddy, Pilot and Collector Cpt. AS Randhawa, and author of the aviation section, Dr. Samuel Berthet.

Dr Anuradha Reddy spoke of Hyderabad and its association to the aviation industry. Founded in 1945, Deccan Airways ltd was one of the nine airlines existing in India during independence.  The airline was a joint venture of Nizam Government of erstwhile Hyderabad State and Tata Airlines.

Dr Reddy also mentioned Aban Pestonji Chenoy, the daughter of the Nizam’s Mint Master was the first woman member of the Hyderabad State Aero Club to qualify for an aviator’s license in 1938.


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