Maharashtra Govt Signs Rs 35,000 Cr Project To Build Aircrafts With Pilot Who Has Just Built One Untested Plane
[The article has been updated with the name of the aviation company Amol Yadav is associated with.]
Media reports say that Maharashtra government earlier this week signed a Rs 35,000 crore pact with the company promoted by a commercial pilot from Mumbai who built a 6-seater aircraft on his roof.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was present when the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at the “Magnetic Maharashtra” global investors summit between Thrust Aircraft Pvt Ltd and Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC)
The project will be spread across 157 acres in Palghar district and it is said will lead to the generation of 10,000 jobs.
Amol Yadav, a commercial pilot working with Jet Airways, had a dream of building his aircraft on the roof of his house and he did. In six years, from 2010 to 2016, he worked on a six-seater aircraft.
The plane can reach up to 13,000 feet at 1,500 feet/hour. It can cover a distance of 2000 kilometres. The top speed is 185 nautical miles/hour. It is built to carry a weight of 1450 kilograms and could seat five people. The aircraft was certified by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and featured in ‘Make In India’ 2016.
The catch is that the plane has never been tested. “We are awaiting a few components. They have come to India and are with the Customs. Once they are fitted [into the aircraft] we will have the official test flight in March or April,” Yadav said, according to the Hindustan Times.
The aircraft bears the registration number VT–NMD, after the initials of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
What do experts say?
Vipul Saxena, an aviation expert and Air Force pilot says that the joint venture does not make sense. He feels that if the purpose was to promote indigenous plane-making, then importance should have been given to other designers as well.
“I am not denying his dedication. They [DGCA] cannot approve the design unless it has been copied with only few alterations in pre-existing design. There are set guidelines by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). There are world-class labs where prototypes of planes are tested on various parameters. The government should have set up an aviation committee through the ministry of civil aviation to evaluate the proposal in terms of return on investment (ROI) if it is being funded for commercial purposes,” said Vipul Saxena, as reported by Hindustan Times.