Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ‘VTOL AVIATION INDIA PVT LTD’ to help in developingVertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircrafts for Civil Defence and Civil Aviation. These aircraft will be used as air taxi for civilians. Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircrafts are becoming popular in both civil and military aviation sectors. What makes these aircrafts remarkable? First of all, these could be operated in both steered and pilotless modes from any trivial base like helipad or any ground surface.Additionally, it has capabilities to sustain high ground speeds -attributed to a fixed wing. Many defence forces across the globe are now focused on development of such systems.
A team led by Prof. AjoyGhosh (Head of Aerospace Engineering & Flight Lab) atIIT-Kanpur- has taken up a project under ‘Industry Academia Collaboration’with ‘VTOL AVIATION INDIA PVT LTD’ for production of VTOL aircraft’s primarily for Civil Defence and Civil Aviation.”Initial budget, as per MOU signed between two, is INR 15 Crore to support pre-feasibility study, feasibility study and for prototype developments,” said Mr. Kalyan Chowdhury, Managing Director of VTOL Aviation India.
VTOL technology means aircraft that can theoretically take off and land almost anywhere, land, water, snow, helipad rooftop etc., making them far more flexible. Other features like ability to carry enough payload and minimal readiness time make it handy in the emergency situations like rapid deployment of ground troops, precise location hovering for delivery of supplies. Also, it could be very useful for rapid medical evacuation of troops from difficult terrains.
“VTOL aircraft can be used for surveillance, rescue mission, combat situations, paramedics, and for civil aviation as well. A typical example of such system is the V-22 Osprey developed by Boeing for the United States Department of Defense (USDoD). Other noteworthy mentions are the Panther Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Harrier fighters by British Aerospace (BAE) Systems, the Lilium Emission Free VTOL jet,” said Mr. Chowdhury.
Mr. Chowdhury says, VTOL project is challenging but it has several advantages. It could be a milestone under the ‘Make in India’initiative. “So far in the defense sector Indian companies have not great contributions in the defense weapon production compared to the foreign companies doing the same for past few years, but we have targeted to make some difference to this scenario,” he added.