“It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill,” said Wilbur Wright who, along with his brother Orville Wright, is credited for inventing, building, and flying the world’s first successful airplane. Anand Chandran, who hails from Kollam district, can be termed as the ‘Wright brother’ of Kerala. Anand, who holds a diploma in Aircraft Manufacturing Engineering, got famous when he flew a paramotor at Malanada, Kollam, recently.
Anand, who currently works as fuel quality controller, affirms that he had interest in making these flying models from childhood. “Most of the toys I used to get during childhood were of airplane and helicopter. Playing with them, I developed an interest in these flying objects and it nurtured immensely as I grew up. During my schooldays, I used to research on Google how these are made,” says Anand.
Flying was always his dream. That led him to make a helicopter during his 12th standard vacations. He started making a coaxial helicopter during his vacations, but his dream couldn’t take off due to legal and financial complications. “Coaxial helicopters have another rotor in addition to the main rotor. This is to stabilise the helicopter and crash possibilities can be avoided. The helicopter was ready for test flight, and it was then the officials interfered and halted it. They said I can’t fly the copter without getting enough permission. Earlier, the challenge was in making an initiative success, now I feel that permission is required for inventions, too.”
Determination is one factor which keeps Anand going. Though the helicopter incident was disappointing, that urged him to design a less expensive entity that could make him fly. That’s how he zeroed on ‘paramotor’. “The paramotor can fly up to a height of 1.25 km and the cost of making it was nearly Rs 1 lakh. The plus factor of paramotor is that all it requires is the permission from the police officials. We should report about the flying at the nearest police station.” Wood and a 100 cc two-stroke engine were the main raw materials of his paramotor. The paramotor offers a 20-minute flying on one litre petrol. Though he made a smooth flying, he got into trouble as he landed.
“I had tried to fly paramotor once and had reported to the police station. So, this time I didn’t report, as they know I will be the only one flying there. So I made my flying at Malanada recently. Soon after I took off, people started gathering there. The crowd increased and this made my landing difficult. I tried to land twice, but couldn’t as the people didn’t clear the field. The third time I needed to land and made proper adjustments to do it. The fuel was getting low, too. The people still didn’t move and I had to turn at the paramotor not as to land between them and avoid causality. Finally, I had to land on a tree,” he says.
However, many thought that he lost control while landing. Some media, too, carried the fake news and he had heated arguments. Soon, he got a call from police and they said he can’t fly without the clearance of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), panchayat, fire force and electricity department. “Actually that is baseless. DGCA’s regulation begins from hand gliders.
Paramotor doesn’t come under the categories they look after and all we need is the permission of police officials. The result is that I can’t fly again in that area and if I do, they may take a case against me. While giving the news, they should’ve contacted me for knowing what actually had happened.”
He’s thankful for the support of his family and friends. He also created trike, which can be effectively used on land and water. Its test flight was done by paramotorist Sunil Hassan at Malampuzha dam. Anand asserts that his dream is to get a job at Tata Advanced Systems, which makes aircraft for the defence department. He also wants to design a new helicopter. However, financial and legal constraints remain as the main issue. He affirms he has many innovative ideas, but they can be fulfilled only with support. “The talented people are not getting much support, moral or financial. Many drop their interests due to financial issues. No one should limit their dreams. Don’t mind the issues, just follow your mind. Do wonders,” he wraps up....