Why is Project Nandi Dr. Kalam’s lesser-known achievement?

Although we are familiar with Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s various accomplishments, there are some that are less talked about. One among them is a hovercraft called Nandi. Nandi was developed in India and is the first of its kind. It was named after Lord Shiva’s bull Nandi. This project was almost completely led by Dr. Kalam at the Aeronautical Development Establishment in Bangalore, a laboratory of DRDO.

When this project was assigned to him, Dr. Kalam had little knowledge of how to design such a craft. He wasn’t sure of the kind of propeller that would be necessary for the aircraft. In order to study that, Kalam spent the next 10 Sundays visiting a professor in IISC, Bangalore learning to perfect the design. By the end of his learning, Project Nandi was not only successful but was also ahead of schedule with a working prototype.

But by this time, VK Krishna Menon was no longer the Minister of Defence and this project was put on hold by the government. But it was not a waste of effort as the hovercraft program captured the interest of Prof. MGK Menon, the Director of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, who called Dr. Kalam for an interview. Prof. Menon was very impressed with the work of Dr. Kalam and in a week’s time, Kalam was offered the post of rocket engineer at the Indian Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR).

Picture Credit : Google 

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