By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: Plane-maker Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) might fly out an inspiring story during the ongoing Aero India 2013. It will also be life-changing script for young Pradeep Mohite, a garage mechanic hailing from Maharashtra’s Sangli Zilla Parishat. His efforts in making a desi helicopter and later levitating it with the help of a Maruti 800 engine, has floored HAL's plane pundits, who are now rolling out a red carpet to welcome the mechanical genius.
Pradeep, now in his late 20s, has studied till 10th and supports his family with his meagre earnings. He has never seen a real chopper, till date, but built one with little support from his friends. Inspired by the Aamir Khan blockbuster 3 Idiots, Pradeep has been chasing his chopper passion for the last four years. Despite repeated failures and fund shortages, he hooked on to his dream and finally managed to levitate the chopper for few seconds. Sources told Express that an email which came to a senior official in Helicopter Complex, in December 2012, set-off HAL's plane chase, with a difference.
“The mail was sent by a person who saw a footage on Pradeep's chopper in a local Marathi channel. We alerted our Chief Test Pilot in Nasik, who had a tough time in locating Pradeep. Based on his initial report, we then sent a chopper designer from Bangalore to Pradeep's village, who spent two days analysing the mind-boggling technology,” sources said.
His maiden attempts failed like the Wright Brothers, as his chopper with auto rickshaw engine and wooden blades failed to take-off. Similar to HAL's upgradation programmess, he then switched over to metal blades with the power plant coming from a Maruti 800 and its battery from a tractor. A five-liter can supplies the fuel to the chopper.
Pradeep was expected in Bangalore on Wednesday night with a posh guest house already booked for him. HAL plans to take him around its chopper facilities, in addition to bringing him to Aero India.
Late on Monday night, HAL Chairman R K Tyagi confirmed that his team is eagerly awaiting the special guest. “We want to motivate the boy. Will help him. We are all excited to meet him,” Tyagi said.
Copyright@The New Indian Express
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