Punjab Farmer Prepares Aircraft Models, Teach aeromodelling to College Students
A 49-year-old farmer, Yadwinder Singh Khokhar of Siryawala village in Bathinda district, has ventured into the field of aeromodelling and has been making various aircraft models using high-density thermocol.
Following his passion, Khokhar started making these models a few years back and has received various awards for his creativity and innovation. Many universities are now using his models in teaching aeronautics to students.
Mr. Khokhar said in his childhood, he had a passion to fly, but it remained unfulfilled as he took up farming after completing his studies in 1996, but in 2007 he went to the UK, where he saw aero-models at a flying club, from where he brought two of those to pursue his passion.
He said after coming back to India he enrolled himself in an aeromodelling course in New Delhi. Khokhar has built a workshop, an aeromodelling laboratory, and a runway over an acre of land at his farmhouse in his village.
fly like a bird
“I wanted to fly like a bird. Somewhere this desire, this passion remained even when I took up farming in 1996 after completing my studies,” he says.
Mr. Khokhar did his initial schooling at schools in Bathinda and Muktsar and passed higher classes at the Punjab Public School, Nabha. He graduated from DAV College, Jalandhar, and later did a diploma in computer application from Bathinda.
“After 1996, when I completed my studies, I started farming in my village. In 2007, there was a wedding in the family when I went to the UK. I saw these aero models in a flying club there.
“I brought two small aero models from there. As I developed more interest in aeromodelling, I started surfing the internet for more information on the subject. Later, I did a course in aeromodelling from an institute in Delhi, which some retired Army and Air Force officers then ran.
“They also used to publish a monthly magazine in which various aspects of the subject like flying theory, electronic set-up, engine set up, how planes fly, everything used to be explained in detail,” he said.
Mr. Khokhar later started making his own aero models. At his farmhouse in his village, he has built a runway over an acre of land, a workshop, and an aeromodelling laboratory. He makes models of various aircraft and flies them over his fields.
“There is proper take-off and landing of these aero models. These are remotely piloted aircraft,” he said.
“I make thermocol models in big sizes. It is a high-density special thermocol.
“Recently, I have made a model of C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, which is the largest handmade aircraft model in India and has been recognized so by the India Book of Records in August 2022,” he said.
He has also made models of other aircraft too including the Sukhoi jet. Now, he is making a model of another transport aircraft- Antonov- An 225 model, its wing span will be 12 feet.
Mr. Khokhar informs that whatever work he is doing is within the guidelines prescribed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation including those pertaining to the height to which such aero models can fly.
Yadwinder Singh Khokhar says he has also tied up with three universities-Chandigarh University, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Technical University, Bathinda, and GNA University, Phagwara. He teaches students some nuances of aeronautics and feels that building model aircraft is a great way to familiarize youngsters with scientific principles and introduce students to the principles of aeronautics and the technicalities of aeromodelling.
For their practicals, he organizes various workshops regarding aeromodelling. The students get to visit his farm where they are shown how working models of various aircraft are made, and given lessons about basic designing and training on how these are operated.
He has also registered a detailed syllabus on aeromodelling with Maharaja Ranjit Singh Technical University and students will be taught this as part of the course subject. Many universities and many regiments of the Army have felicitated him, he says. he is also doing some projects for the defense forces.
Mr. Khokhar feels proud of the fact that his elder son also drew inspiration from his hobby and become an aeronautical engineer.
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