|Another view of the Wright Flyer at the VITM.
|A close up of the mannequin pilot on the Flyer. Note the propellers linked by chains which are driven by a motor.
But work on the full-size replica progressed slowly: for one thing funds were slow in coming, and for another, midway through the project, Mr. Raman died of a heart attack. Raman’s loss was a tragic setback – he had been an enthusiastic member and the driving force behind many ‘aviation enthusiast’ clubs. However Mr. Kumar undertook the work after Raman’s loss and eventually, the project took nine months and Rs. 15 lakh to complete.
|The Wright Flyer I replica seen from the port front quarter. The elevators of the Flyer are in the front of the aircraft.
The replica was unveiled by Air Marshal Philip Rajkumar on Dec 16, 2003. A detailed report on the construction can be read at this link.
Aviation Relics at VITM
|The Rolls Royce Avon is the only ‘Jet’ engine on display
|A Pratt and Whitney radial – probably equipped a Harvard?
In the same internal gallery where the Wright Flyer is displayed the visitor will be happy to find several aviation engines displayed. Some of these are WW2 relics. Almost all of them are ‘cutaway’ to show the interiors
Among the engines noticed were a Rolls Royce Avon engine (that equipped a Hunter), a Wright , a Bristol Hercules Sleeve-Valved Radial engine which equipped the Bristol Beaufighter. and an Inline Packard engine that probably powered a Patrol Boat.
|The engine below was a Packard – resembling a Merlin, it was identified as a type that equipped a Motor Boat.
|A rare WW2 relic is this Bristol Hercules Radial engine – of the type that equipped Beaufighters and Blenheims.