|A K Vishwanath with the phase-I model of his flying car at the terrace of his in Bangalore's Banashankari 2nd Stage. (Below) Vishwanath with the prototype of an all-terrain vehicle being made for expermental purposes.|
Photo: Nagaraja Gadekal
If you happen to be in Bangalore's Banashankari 2nd Stage, then take some time out to meet a man in his mid-50s, chasing an unbelievable dream -- to make India’s first flying car.
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: Welcome to Banashankari 2nd Stage. House No. 2665. It is here, that the dream to build India’s first flying car is taking shape. Get on to the terrace and you are transported to a different world filled with wires, drawings, motors, paper cones, nuts, bolts and dreams. Chasing the passion to build the flying car -- named Avishcar -- is A K Vishwanath. His CV: Fifty-four years, electrical engineer, US-returned, single.
“Some people might have thought initially I am mad. I am keen to find a solution to the traffic chaos in India. May be, when my dream takes wings, then everyone who are stuck in the traffic, will remember me,” says Vishwanath, during an interaction with City Express. Inspired by Wright Brothers and their undying passion to gift wings to the world, Vishwanath left his software job in the US in 1994 and came back to India. He then worked with Philips Semiconductor till 2003 and finally decided to focus completely on Avishcar.
Since then, his routine has changed. After his morning walk, he spends over 12 hours in two sessions, working on the prototypes of the flying car. During Aero India-2011, he exhibited how eventually the flying car would look. Amidst the fighter jets, the visitors were stunned to see a Maruti car with external fittings. “During the last show, it was a post-breakthrough presence for me. I was convinced, I can do it. Hence, I was keen to get a first-hand experience. This time, I am not going to show as an exhibitor. Now, I am on Vish 2.0 version of my project,” he said.
He says his first proof of principle is the formation of the right flow of air and he is proving it on a bicycle (see photo). “The idea is to collect enough air for the rotor blade to enable the lift. I am using 192 improvised cones made out of double-layer drawing sheet. These cones help channelise the air. The next phase will be the compact motorized version of the cycle. Here I will remove the rotor. I will put my extremely- compact version of the cones. I will also use special composite materials. This phase-2 principle will be tested on a bike or scooter by mid-April,” says Vishwanath.
He is also ready with an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), which will form his phase-3 of his project. “It will be the pre-car implementation stage. I will verify all forms of flows that are required for different types of flight modes. This will include: vertical take-off, spot hovering, safe landing, approach to buildings and the like. The ATV will be run on its engine, in addition to external power supply,” he claims.
His procurement base for the flying car project is small-time mechanic shops on S. P. Road and City Market. “You can literally make God out of the stuff you get from City Market. Last 10 years, I spent Rs 40 lakh for the project from my savings. I have no funding at all. My close friends give me moral support.”
When asked what his neighbours thought seeing him sweat it out on the terrace, Vishwanath said they were all surprised once to see a Maruti car on the terrace. “I had to pay Rs 6000 to the crane chaps to lift the car,” he says.
While all this could be rocket science for some, for some others this could be pure plane matter. And, for many of those who are reading this,
Vishwanath’s theories might not make any sense. But the man on a mission says: “My idea is to convince the common man. I get breakthrough from nature and I am inspired. If the Wright Brothers can, then I too can. I will demonstrate my flying car, this year. Wait and see.”
Watch this space!
Copyright@City Express, Bangalore
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