Thought academic degrees are needed to succeed in life? No doubt, education is important. But here’s a remarkable journey of a high school drop-out who has successfully managed to create a low-cost paraglider without any academic specialization. K.A. Raja Gnanaprakasam, a 35-year-old contract worker, used to dream of flying in the sky since childhood. Unlike those who just daydream all day long, this talented man has turned his dream into a reality by designing a paraglider that costs ₹60,000 – that’s one-tenth to the market price of other gliders that cost ₹ 4 lakh or more.
How he created the affordable paramotor for flight
Gnanaprakasam is a resident from Vayalur village in Dindigul (near Palani in Tamil Nadu). He had to quit his school after VIII standard for helping his father on the field. But he didn’t let go his passion and devoted all these years to learn about gliders.
He solely completed the paraglider without any help and only relied on YouTube tutorials as well as other online resources for designing perfect paramotors. He started working on the paraglider when he was 23 and after several failed experiments he finally succeeded after 12 long years. Now, he has invented three paragliders. He has even turned a part of this agricultural field into a runway for these paramotors.
That’s called a true determination to get what you want, without getting disheartened by failures. In fact, failures must be taken as a positive experience – that’s how failure can lead you to the highway of success.
The paraglider has a tank capacity of 14 liters that can last up to four hours and fly at a speed of 120 Km/hr. Gnanaprakasam now takes off to the skies in his glider every weekend, covering up to 70 kilometers in a single go. After the success of his three gliders, he is working on a few improvements – he wants to add powered hand glider to the device for a sophisticated mechanism. Plus, the improved version will include an agricultural motor with engine capacity ranging from 230cc to 300cc. It will also feature anemometer for tracking wind velocity, as well as, altimeter for tracking altitude.
Although a license is not required to fly a powered glider, but there are a few restrictions like one can’t fly it beyond 500-feet above sea level or in 40 km radius of the airport. Keeping these restrictions in mind, such affordable paragliders can be used for tourism and recreational purposes.
Paragliding is a safe activity and loved by many tourists, who want to have an aerial view of a particular location. So, the future of motor-powered paragliders seems bright. Moreover, this talented designer’s journey could inspire the youth to follow their passion without fearing the failure – as hard work and true determination never go waste.