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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Smart Zone

Students design helicopter-aeroplane
Nirmika Singh, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, March 29, 2012
First Published: 15:01 IST(29/3/2012)
Last Updated: 15:10 IST(29/3/2012)
It took 33 flight tests and several weeks of dedication to make their aircraft fly. But when it finally took off, it was a special moment for Shaikh Haroon Rashid, Aniket Salvi and Piyush Vairagi. The second-year aeronautical engineering students from Thakur Institute of Aviation Technology had finally devised a unique model aircraft with the features of a helicopter and an aeroplane.
The students behind the device

“The model is called Hawk Eye. It is a hovering aircraft and has a vertical take-off lift, just like a helicopter. But it steers like an aeroplane and can fly in any direction,” says Rashid. The small remote-controlled model (380x400mm) has won prizes at inter-college competitions across the country such as IIT Kanpur’s Techkriti, VJTI Mumbai’s Technovanza and at events held at LR Tiwari College of Engineering, Mira Road, and Terna Engineering College, Nerul. Rashid reveals the inspiration behind building this machine: “We watched the movie 3 Idiots last year and after seeing the model aircraft in the film, we wanted to build something similar.”

With its feather-light body (210g) and unique features, Rashid says the aircraft can be used carry out surveillance work for the defence forces.

“We have placed gizmos such as a camera for spying, a listening bug, an anti-collision circuit to detect obstacles, an electronic eye and a fire and smoke alarm in the this prototype model,” he says, adding, “The model has huge commercial viability. It can be used in malls, auditoriums and stadiums to keep a check on shoppers.”

Considering the soaring popularity of their awardwinning model aircraft, has life changed much for these students?
Rashid says, “Hawk Eye has become famous overnight. With many companies showing interest in our model, we plan to patent the idea.”

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