Pune: Pradeep Mohite, a motor mechanic, has given wings to his dreams. His childhood interest in flying objects has made him the creator of a helicopter. With no graduation in engineering and after several trials, on his seventh attempt, Mohite has successfully built a helicopter with his 15 years of experience as a mechanic. His passion for building a helicopter echoed from his voice of tone while talking to Sakal Times reporter.
Mohite belongs to Wangi village in Sangli district. Speaking about his interest to build a helicopter, he said, “I used the locally-sourced engine to build the copter, automobile parts and fabrications. “I didn’t use any foreign tools or machines to build it. Every part is self-made. I have built it through the experience I have gained as a mechanic,” he said.
Mohite has studied till Std X only and with no engineering degree in hand, he built this helicopter entirely on his own without any external support like the Internet or any expert opinion or workshops.
In December 2009, he started making his first helicopter, ever since then he has build seven helicopters. “I learned about a better and new mechanism with each helicopter I built. For example, I understood about the height at which helicopter will fly after first two attempts. My last two helicopters crashed because of few technical issues, therefore, I again started building a new one and successfully completed it now,” said Mohite, who has shifted to Pune recently.
Mohite has also received a patent from Pimpri-Chinchwad College of Engineering (PCCOE) with the help of his aunt Urmila Jadhav who is a lawyer by profession. So far Mohite has spent around Rs 40 lakh to build these seven helicopters. It took at least Rs 3-4 lakh to rebuild each one. Apart from the financial aspect, several days of sleepless nights, hard-work and double shift to meet his daily requirements at home cost his invention.
“We have a farm and I used to work in a garage. I have been a tractor mechanic and now a motor mechanic. Through these, I would try to meet ends at home. Many times my family members and friends advised to stop working on a helicopter and concentrate at home. However, my wife tried to support a lot by giving me the strength to continue working,” said Mohite, who has two daughters – one-and-half-year-old and a five-year-old respectively.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) had also acknowledged his work in 2013 and awarded him with Aero India 2013. “It was a momentous day for me when the skilled engineers appreciated my work and said my project was one of its kind in the country,” said Mohite ecstatically.
However, Mohite has expressed that if the State government supports his project and if any company wants to help him by financing the project, he would like to build a better quality and standard helicopter.