First plane made by an Indian

Discussion in 'Members Corner' started by ghost, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. ghost

    ghost Regular Member

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    MUMBAI: As the roar of the engines of the Air Force jets died down when the air show ended on Sunday, there were a few whose thoughts went back to the first flight of a plane at the very Chowpatty beach over which the air show was held.

    In 1895 an Indian pioneer flew what is said to be the first Indian plane in the air. The centenary year of the first successful flight, by the Wright brothers, was celebrated from December 17, 2003. But our own pioneer from Mumbai, Shivkar Bapuji Talpade, made an aircraft and had flown it eight years earlier. One of Talpade's students, P Satwelkar, has chronicled that his craft called 'Marutsakha'(Friend of the Winds) flew unmanned for a few minutes and came down.

    Talpade belonged to the Pathare Prabhu community, one of the founder of Mumbai. According to aviation historians Mr Talpade used his knowledge of the Rig Vedas to build a plane. Orville and Wilbert Wright accomplished their feat in California on December 17,1903. Their flight lasted for 37 seconds.

    The Wright brothers based the design of their aircraft by studying bird movements. Mr Talpade used the principle of solar energy combined with mercury to design his plane.

    Pratap Velkar, in his book on the Pathare Prabhu community, says that Mr Talpade also studied the achievements of aviation pioneers like Alva Edison who flew in a balloon and survived a mishap in 1880. Mr Talpade's study included the experiment of machine gun inventor Hiram Maxim who propelled his steam plane down a slope. It did not take off for technical reasons.

    In 1896 Samuel Langley's steam balloon flew at a height of 100 feet and a three quarters of a mile. Then came the famous Zeppelin 1900 which successfully flew at a height of 1100 feet after three attempts in Germany.

    The first breakthrough in flying was made by a Brazlian, Santos D'Monte. He made 14 planes between 1901 and 1904 in his country. And he flew them himself. Many believe that Santos was the first successful flier and not the Wright Brothers.
    According to Mr Velkar, Mr Talpade studied these flights which inspired him to make an aircraft and fly. Mr Talpade was staying at what is today Nagindas Shah Marg in Girgaum in the bustling heart of Mumbai. The frame of the historic plane was gathering dust at his house after his death. One of his nieces, Roshan Talpade, has been quoted by Mr Velkar's book saying the family used to sit in the aircraft's frame and imagine they were flying. At a recent exhibition on flying at Vile Parle, a model of 'Marutsakha' was exhibited.

    Mr Velkar regrets that Mr Talpade's plane has not found a place in the aviation museum at Nehru Centre, nor is there a memorial to his feat at Chowpatty.

    However some documents relating to his experiment have been preserved at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in Bangalore.


    At an aeronautical conference in Chennai Talpade's flight was discussed by foreign delegates. D H Bedekar, one-time principal defence scientific officer, has said Mr Talpade's plane for some technical reasons failed to operate to its full design limits.

    Talpade wanted to unravel the mystery with further experiments. He even made an appeal for funds some Rs 50,000 at a public meeting in Ahmedabad he had addressed. But to no avail. As his biographer,Professor Kelkar, wrote: "His efforts crashed like a bird whose wings are slashed."

    In contrast the US army donated 25,000 dollars to the Wright brothers to pursue their feat. In turn the brothers' invention redefined how the US fought its wars.

    Alas, as planes zoomed over Chowpatty on Sunday nothing was recounted about an Indian visionary whose flight of fancy remains in the throes of anonymity.

    @jouni sir,

    As I pointed out earlier,money for research is the main reason for lack of new invention in India.


    A flight over Chowpatty that made history - The Times of India
     
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  3. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    @ghost
    I checked out a few sources like Wikipedia.

    The flight by Shivkar Bapuji Talpade has been disputed by the guys at Indian Statistical Institute,Bangalore.
    Shivkar Bapuji Talpade - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    http://cgpl.iisc.ernet.in/site/Port...l/ACriticalStudyOfTheWorkVaimanikaShastra.pdf


    Read the above pdf. It is interesting.
     
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  4. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    A few excerpts form the ISI(indian Statistical Institute,Bangalore) pdf.
    http://cgpl.iisc.ernet.in/site/Port...l/ACriticalStudyOfTheWorkVaimanikaShastra.pdf

    :facepalm:
     
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  5. Dovah

    Dovah Untermensch Senior Member

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    It's not the lack of money. Give an Indian some cash, he is more likely to put it in a bank than invest it in a startup.

    India does not have a consumerist mentality and we do not like to take risks.
     
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  6. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    From that pdf,

     
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  7. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    @Dovah There are doubts whether his craft flew at all. Look at the Indian Statistical institute pdf.
     
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  8. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    Finally here`s what the pundits at the Indian Statistical Institute,Bangalore have to say about Talpade
    http://cgpl.iisc.ernet.in/site/Port...l/ACriticalStudyOfTheWorkVaimanikaShastra.pdf


     
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  9. Dovah

    Dovah Untermensch Senior Member

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    I've read this thing. But I am not sure what to make of it. Generally I ignre achievements of the past that did not materialize.
     
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  10. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    Plainly speaking, they dismiss Talpade`s work as fiction. However they do acknowledge that Indians had an astounding knowledge of iron,copper and other stuff during ancient times.
     
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  11. ghost

    ghost Regular Member

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    Sir,

    I was talking about the budding researchers and scientist who are not able to take their research further due to lack of fund ,grant and financial assistance .

    Regarding general Indians ,I agree,but it might be because being a poor country not much wealth was at disposal of an individual.So he had to set priorities , family being the topmost priority people like to save for a secured future.

    But as income level are rising , people have more wealth at their disposal.Indians have started to develop consumerist mentality , as we become more wealthier risk taking will see an increase,it will take some time ,as old habits take time to change.


    @Peter thanks for the info:thumb:
     
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  12. jouni

    jouni Senior Member Senior Member

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    I wish you better luck with TEJAS than this unfortunate effort.
     
  13. CrYsIs

    CrYsIs Regular Member

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    How so ?

    10char
     

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