Unleashing the Childlike Fascination for Flight: My Aeromodelling Journey,

Hengul Preet Kashyap, Class -IX, Don Bosco School, Guwahati.

Every man, regardless of age, possesses an innate fascination for flight, akin to a child’s boundless wonder. Witnessing someone paragliding or engaging in similar activities never fails to ignite a surge of exhilaration and excitement within them. It’s as if that child-like spirit within every adult, irrespective of their caste or creed, comes alive when confronted with the sheer thrill of soaring through the skies.

And it was this very aspect that found me at the Innovation Hub of the Regional Science Centre, Khanapara, on July 25th, eagerly participating in the 5-day Hobby Camp – Aeromodelling.

From Robotics to Aeromodelling: A Surprising Adventure at the Innovation Hub

I must admit, Aeromodelling wasn’t my initial choice; I had set my heart on “Robotics with Arduino,” yet alas, all the seats were booked. None of the other camp options spoke to me in the same way. Maybe they held exciting opportunities, but fate had led me to the one that intrigued my past self the most – the one where I now found myself, with a wooden aircraft resting on my desk today.

Crafting Dreams in the Skies: My 5-day Aeromodelling Hobby Camp Experience

But let’s rewind and begin at the start of my journey. The first day at the Innovation Hub was spent acquainting ourselves with the knowledgeable Sir M. F. Haque, who would guide us through the basics of Aeromodelling.

A Humbling Start: Paper Airplanes and the Basics of Aerodynamics

We began with crafting paper airplanes, much like the ones I used to make during long history lectures at school. My optimism soared as I envisioned my creation gracefully gliding through the air, but reality humbled me as it landed meekly in a fellow member’s lap.

Clearly, I had much to learn and grasp a better understanding of aerodynamics.

Aeromodelling Workshop

Taking Flight: The Fascinating Theories Behind Aeromodelling

The subsequent days were filled with insightful videos discussing the theoretical aspects of Aeromodelling, such as The Coanda Effect, Newton’s Laws, and Bernoulli’s Principle. We were then handed paper templates of an actual aircraft called the X-59, which excited me immensely. However, time flew by, and I had to leave my dear model and head home. The rest of the days passed in the blink of an eye.

Embracing Balsa Wood: A Challenging Yet Rewarding Experience in Aeromodelling

On Day 2, we moved on to balsa wood, a material that proved to be astonishingly fragile. To my surprise, we were not handed ready-made pieces but were tasked with manually creating aerofoils using sandpaper. It was a painstaking process that left my wrists sore and had me joking about child labor. But as they say, patience is the key to success, and we all discovered the truth in that statement.

With the fuselage and wings complete, we progressed to crafting our horizontal stabilizers and vertical stabilizers, where we were given some freedom in choosing the angles within certain limits. This added a unique touch to each of our models, allowing for further research and refinement.

Assembling Dreams: Overcoming Challenges in Model Aircraft Creation

Eventually, on the fourth day, it was time to assemble our aircraft. A small mishap with spilled superglue added a touch of chaos, but I managed to put the pieces together correctly after a minor setback by joining the wings upside down. Imperfections aside, my model aircraft held a special place in my heart as my first creation in this hobby.

As the fifth day approached, I couldn’t help but feel anxious.

What if my aircraft failed to fly?

What if it crashed immediately or got stuck in a tree?

So many “what ifs” filled my mind as I made my way to the launch area.

Trials and Triumphs: The Excitement and Lessons of Outdoor Flight

Unfortunately, the initial outdoor flight was less successful than I hoped, with the plane going into a sudden nosedive. Yet, the indoor tests brought relief and satisfaction as it flew gracefully, covering a considerable distance.

Beyond Aeromodelling: Valuable Life Lessons from the Hobby Camp

Throughout this five-day workshop, Aeromodelling wasn’t the only thing we learned. Valuable life lessons on perseverance, patience, perfectionism, and punctuality were instilled, courtesy of Sir. His advice on avoiding greed and the rat race, and focusing on cultivating mental satisfaction resonated deeply with me. The workshop has given me a new hobby to explore, and for that, I am truly grateful.

Moreover, there’s something undeniably satisfying about showing off creations born of hard work, and I can already imagine being a chatterbox when relatives come to visit, eager to showcase my newly acquired skills.

 – Hengul Preet Kashyap, Class -IX, Don Bosco School, Guwahati