Chennai, Nov 25: Mission Aerospace Foundation of India (Mission Aerofi), an organisation that promises to develop products from home-grown platforms for the world market is all set to take off in Bengaluru on November 29. The official launch of Aerofi will be held at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) situated inside the Indian Institute of Science campus.
Former Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Fali H Major (Retd) will be the chief guest during the occasion.
In search of the best in aerospace
In an exclusive interview to OneIndia, Anurakar Mishra, CEO of Genser Aerospace and Information Technologies Private Ltd and the brain behind the new organisation, said that Mission Aerofi has been conceived to be a complementing force to the existing Indian aerospace structure, to make rightful contributions, as the future of global aerospace takes shape.
"Airpower of any country can be mapped to an active and energetic aerospace industry with vibrant eco-system. Mission Aerofi will have a role for everyone, who has a passion for the development of aerospace products from an Indian platform. We are gathering luminaries from the Indian aerospace industry, scientists, academia, students and friends of India for the event," Mishra said.
Ambitious plans in the pipeline
The 12-member governing body of Mission Aerofi has identified projects starting from Rs 10 crore to Rs 1,000 crore. "We are looking for some kind of commitment from the companies to contribute a small portion of their profit towards our mission. We shall attempt this to be linked to their CSR initiatives. We are focusing only on aerospace companies who are committed towards our cause to contribute," Mishra said.
Aerofi cells are likely to be formed in different companies with focus on research. "We shall rope in some of the best academic institutions in the country. We will manage the projects and act as a force multiplier. Aerofi will not be limited to India alone, but will engage with global aerospace community as required," he added.
According to Wg Cdr C D Upadhyay (Retd), former Chief Test Pilot of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and currently one of the pillars of Aerofi, key work areas have been already indentified. "We are looking at the development of business jet, defence trainer aircraft, propulsion system, UAV, gyrocopter, mini and microsatellites, aerospace systems, aerospace design tools and aerospace process," Upadhyay said.
Make in India should become Make Indian
Upadhyay said that the ‘Make in India' slogan should be tweaked to ‘Make Indian' so as to get the right impact. "We must make from Indian platforms. If we need to attain aerospace might, then we need to ensure that all major parts have to be developed within the country. Mission Aerofi will strive to bring in a new development philosophy of aerospace products. We are happy that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is batting for the Make in India cause vigorously," Upadhyay said.
He said the ‘Make Indian' movement should catch the imagination of aerospace industries in India.
"We will act as a channel for the Indian industries to take challenging steps. Our mission is not to give any competition to the existing set-up in the country. We are looking at inspiring partnerships that will get Indian aerospace products out in the market," he added.
Quad-copter project takes shape
The first project of Mission Aerofi could be the development of a quad-copter (a flying machine with four rotors). With over 50,000 quad-copters flying all over the world currently, the team is keen to join hands with Belgium for this project.
"This Indo-Belgium product will target to incorporate new technologies such as structural batteries, which is part of the airframe structure itself, as also advances in cognitive technologies for multiple quad-copters to cooperate to execute missions. Quad-copters are popular for their short take-off capabilities and are effective for surveillance missions," Mishra said.
The quad-copter can also be used effectively by fishermen to monitor fish schools in deep waters. "Our product will weigh around 20 kg and the entire project should cost around $5 to 6 million," Mishra added.
(The writer is a seasoned aerospace and defence journalist in India. He is the Consulting Editor (Defence) with OneIndia. He tweets @writetake.)