Experiences of a student in Skyfi Labs workshop

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Glider Fabrication

As part of their orientation at IIT Kanpur this year, AerotriX - a division of Skyfi Labs - organized a Glider making workshop for fresher students. Mechanical engineering fresher Lakshya Gangwar, participant from the workshop, was just as curious as the others to know what his first experience at IIT Kanpur would be like. After successfully making his first working glider, he says with a sparkle in his eyes ‘It was an amazing thought and initiative to organize such a knowledge enriched workshop. I really had not thought that the first workshop in IIT Kanpur would be such interesting. Thank You AerotriX and Skyfi Labs.

With a cheery tone Lakshya Gangwar shared the moments and experiences of the workshop with AerotriX. When asked what inspired him to learn aeromodelling,

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Lakshya answers ‘I was interested in airplanes from my childhood days. I always wondered how they work. When I actually saw my chuck glider soar in the sky, it was a sense of pure joy!’ The students were elated to create their own glider aircraft model. There was an air of enthusiasm among the students as it was their first engineering project. Asish Pallapothu, Jagadeesh C and Michael Nauta who were the trainers from AerotriX were overjoyed to see the students appreciate the beauty in engineering.

IITK Students Making Glider
Basically, a glider is an aircraft without motors. All aerodynamic factors that apply to engine powered aircraft also apply to gliders. The AerotriX glider making workshop helps students take their first step in aeromodelling learning. By making a glider from scratch, students can understand various principles of flight mechanics. At the workshop, students get to know the vocabulary of air vehicles. The workshop instills students with practical know-hows of the components of an aircraft like wing, fuselage, fin, airfoil, and tailplane. Students will learn how these individual parts of an aircraft are needed to make it fly. They also understand the effects of mathematical variables like angle of attack and weight to make a workable aircraft.

Lakshya continues ‘While making my glider with sand paper and balsa wood, I understood how to shape the airfoil, wing and tail for getting the best aerodynamic results‘. By experimenting with various parts of a glider in the workshop, students comprehend flying objects better. And by tweaking the features of the glider, like reshaping the wing or removing the tail, students can find solutions to various problems in flight dynamics and consequently get a grip on the principles of flight.

Lakshya recalled the flying session from the workshop, ‘In my first try, the glider didn’t work. I tried some modifications for the second time, but the glider landed abruptly and was displaced. Then I tried to sort out the problems the glider may have. I shaped it more like an airplane. I waited for my turn to test the glider again. In the final try it did fly very well’, he says.

IITK Working on their Glider
Lakshya recounts his experience with AerotriX by saying ‘The experience was just like doing a job. The trainers guided us very well and I was gradually able to learn all the concepts that made the glider work. To me it was a like a trailer of working in a company.’

He adds ‘When my glider landed, it was a moment that I won’t forget easily. I had the same feeling like when I was successful in IIT-JEE. I send the photos of the glider to my parents. They were happy saying that now, you are an engineer!’ When asked why other students should take part in such workshops, he says ‘It was a practical experience and in my opinion it helps students from all disciplines of study. It made me realize that science actually works. The workshop is really helping me now as I have a practical perspective when I approach my studies’.

IITK Glider Fabrication
The science of flight is indeed incredible. The extent to which AerotriX can get students excited about it with model aircraft like gliders and radio-controlled aircraft is remarkable. In fact, the knowledge gained by working on model aircraft can be used for real life applications of aviation technology. Another student from the workshop at IIT Kanpur, electrical engineering fresher Ayushya Agarwal says ‘It was an interesting learning experience. I had a sense of achievement. It also inspired me to join the aeromodelling club at IIT Kanpur’. This is the kind of impact AerotriX aspires to bring about among engineering students.

Archit Rathore, who is a student coordinator for counseling service at IIT Kanpur, clarifies the motive to organize the glider making workshop as part of the orientation programme, ‘The objective of the glider making workshop was to give the fresher students a kick start to their engineering career by encouraging them to learn and apply’. He shed light on how the workshop helped the freshers, ‘The students learnt team-work and implementing what they learnt while trying to innovate on their own.’ He shared the opinion of the students after they completed the workshop, ‘For most it was an opportunity to learn something new. Competing with each other to see whose glider flew best was probably the best experience of the workshop’!

IIT Kanpur
The AerotriX team is pleased to provide such valuable practical experience to the freshers at IIT Kanpur. What makes the glider workshop even more special is that AerotriX was founded by IIT Kanpur Alumni 4 years back. AerotriX has come a long way since then and now holds the national record for conducting the largest aeromodelling competition in India. AerotriX is also proud for its association with Boeing, Altair Engineering and Ornithopter Zone, USA.

In conclusion, The AerotriX and Skyfi Labs team is working hard to expand its reach to more students and colleges all across India with an objective to nurture more employable engineering graduates. An experience like the one at IIT Kanpur certainly motivates the Skyfi Labs team to fulfill this objective.

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