An Indian Made The World’s First Air Plane 8 Years Before The Wright Brothers

The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, are acknowledged to have invented and built the world’s first successful airplane and made the first controlled, powered and sustained flight in 1903.

However, in 1895, an Indian, Shivkar Talpade, a drawing teacher from JJ School of Art in Mumbai, is said to have flown an aircraft, Marutsakha, on Girgaon Chowpatty.

Talpade is said to have relied on an ancient text to build his model aircraft. Now, throwing light on the text is a book that will be out later this year, by GaneshNerlekar-Desai, epigraphist and manuscriptologist at Shivaji University’s Manuscript Research Centre at Kolhapur.

There are two streams of thought regarding the existence of aircraft in ancient times. One believes that the ancients did build and fly aircraft, while the other believes it is too fantastic to be true.

However, what cannot be disputed is the existence of an ancient text on aerodynamics, titled ‘Vaimanikprakarnm’. “At the Bharat Itihas Sanshodhak Mandal in Pune, there exists an undated handwritten manuscript of Vaimanikprakarnm, a treatise on aerodynamics, said to be originally written by sage Bharadwaj. Lord Shiva apparently imparted knowledge of aerodynamics to his son Ganesha, who then transferred it to Bharadwaj,” said Nerlekar-Desai.

Other manuscripts of Vaimanikprakarnm exist at Oriental Institute at The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda; Gujarat Ayurved University in Jamnagar and one was in the possession of Talpade, who flew his aircraft at Girgaon Chowpatty.

The text contains information about ways to build aircraft and also how to protect them from the harsh sun and attacks from the ground. “Vaimanikprakarnm suggests the use of certain gemstones on an aircraft to protect it should it venture too close to the sun. It also talks about five different types of lightning and offers solutions to make the aircraft lightning-proof,” said Nerlekar-Desai. He added that the treatise also says that in order to insulate your aircraft from cannon shots from the ground, its body should be made of crystal.

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