First-year students of Thakur Institute of Aviation Technology Nilesh Rai and Sanjay Singh won the first prize at an aerospace event at IIT-Kanpur Aerospace Engineering Centre. Prachi Parekh speaks to 19-year-old Nilesh Rai
What motivated you make the Quadrocopter?
We were planning to make something that could fly. The movie 3 Idiots inspired us to attempt making the plane.
How long did it take to make?
The two of us took 20 days to finish it, as we worked only during our college hours.
How much did it cost? Who funded?
The entire project cost us Rs. 45,000. Our families were very supportive and they were the ones who funded the project.
Any obstacles you faced during the project?
We couldnâ€™t find the centre of gravity of the plane and hence it wasnâ€™t balancing properly. It needed a strong but light frame. We then built a wooden frame made of birch wood. It was light in weight and provided strength to the plane and our problem was solved!
Any moment to remember?
The best time was when the plane lifted up for the first time. It was a great moment.
What is the specialty of your project? What are its uses?
It has a wireless camera, just like in the movie. Apart from that, it even has a thermal detector which measures the temperature. It can be used for surveillance in crowded places such as malls, etc.
What did they learn from it?
We learnt a lot about the airfoil shape, which is the shape of the wings and it facilitates the flight of a plane. 90% of the people do not have much knowledge about it and we learned a great deal about it during this project.
How was the support from your college?
All our professors were very supportive, especially Prakash Pawar, Varun Bhattacharya and Subhajit Maity.
We are planning to make the plane shown in the movie Avatar.
How did it feel winning the first prize?
It felt excellent to win in an IIT competition. It was a big achievement for us. It was a great experience and we learned a lot.