India had it’s first ever international drone competition at the Aero India 2019
27 teams participated in the preliminaries for the Drone Olympics on Monday for the 12th Aero India. 9 of these teams went for the finals held at the Yelahanka Air Force Station on Thursday.
A total of 121 teams had initially participated for the event and only 57 got selected for the preliminaries. The selection procedure included challenges like surveillance capability, formation flying and load dropping capability (to assess weight dropping skills). The winning team will walk away with Rs. 38 lakh.
Team Daksha from Madras Institute of Technology caught a lot of attention in the event. Their model provided a clever solution to the vertical take off and landing issues generally faced by the drones.
The Ministry of Defence addressed the event as a promotion of the UAV (Unmanned Arial Vehicle) projects all across India. The event would also be used as an opportunity to adapt with the new technology since drones have been used by countries across the world for defence purposes. Even this year’s major blockbuster, URI – The Surgical Strike, showed the use of the Gadud drone which is an actual drone used by the Indian Army and is called the Robird Drone.
Aero India is a biennial air show organised by the Defence Minister of India, Indian Air Force, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Department of Space, the Union Civil Aviation Ministry and other similar organisations. It is considered to be the largest air show in Asia. The first of these shows was held in 1996. In recent years, Aero India has become one of the most essential military aviation exhibitions with the number of participating countries increasing each time.
The event was kicked off on Wednesday with aerobatics by various teams. The opening ceremony saw the Sukhoi aircraft flanked by a Jaguar and an LCA Tejas forming the ‘missing man’ formation as a tribute to Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi. Commander Sahil Gandhi lost his life when his plane collided with another jet while performing an aerobatic manoeuvre as a part of the practice session for the opening ceremony.