Three engineering wards of ACS college built the national-award-winning model in three hours Their aircraft crashed five times in a row. The worst part is this. It crashed just ahead of an aeromodelling contest, leaving its builders with only a few hours to put it together again. The students built it in three hours straight, tested it in the morning and packed it before catching a Delhi-bound train in the afternoon. Their efforts paid off: they stood first in the national level aeromodelling competition organised by Boeing and five IITs. Meet the trio from ACS College of Engineering, Bangalore who made the city proud by defeating 170 other teams in the National Aeromodelling Competition at New Delhi. Interestingly, the first runner-up position was also bagged by another Bangalore team (BMS College of Engineering). Mr Tabrez Nadvi, a third-year aeronautical engineering student from ACS was logged into Facebook and by chance, came across the aeromodelling competition page. He and his friends enrolled and stood third in the zonal level competition held at IIT Kharagpur. The top three teams from each zone qualified for the finals at IIT Delhi on April 12. The problem given to the students was: build an aircraft that should not exceed the dimension of one metre into one metre. Its thrust-to-weight ratio should not exceed 0.75. “We made an aircraft using Depron as it was cheap and we could make it in record time. As the first aircraft was made in a few weeks, we took it to the flying field at Hosakote for test flight. We were not lucky initially, as the flight crashed. However, we built a second aircraft which too crashed, as did three others. When the fifth aircraft crashed, we were scared as there was just a day left for our Delhi trip. We were in two minds on whether to go to Delhi or not. But believe it or not, in the next three hours, a new flight was ready,” said Mr Tabrez. In the finals, the challenge was to complete manoeuvres in three minutes. In the qualifier round, the best measure of design of an aircraft was based on its climb and gliding time. “‘For this, the winning team had to climb for 30 seconds followed by dead stick flight (throttle=0 or Gliding) performance,” said Tabrez’s team mate Mr Pavan M J. In the manoeuvre round, the arena consisted of two vertical poles separated by a distance of 25 metres and two horizontal bars/gates at heights of 3 metres (entry gate) and 6 metres (exit gate), separated by a distance of 10 metres. “‘The challenge was to pass between each gate and the aircraft easily did it,” Mr Pavan added. The prize: Rs 1 lakh in cash. The students say that there are a lot of aviation enthusiasts in the city and they would love to teach them how to make a model aircraft. “If you are free on Sunday, you can come to Hoskote and we would teach you how to fly. As we are in the third year, we plan to make a single seat aircraft as our final year project. We just hope that we succeed too”, added Mr Vignesh Arul R, the third teammate.