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HYDERABAD: A city-based aviation enthusiast has built a complex model of a jet engine and recently received an award from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Hyderabad resident Khaled Bakhtiar built a miniature gas turbine jet engine. Construction of the engine, which necessitates complex engineering, is difficult because it must withstand high rotational speeds, temperatures and wind speeds. Its construction also requires metal alloys that are stronger than steel.

“I’ve always been fascinated by planes. As a child. I used to build model planes out of foam and wood. This engine project, which I began three years ago, required a significant amount of time and effort. My main sources of information to build the model was YouTube, jet engine forums, and associations”, Bakhtiar explained.

Miniature gas turbine jet engines run on a variety of fuels, including aircraft fuel, diesel, kerosene, compressed natural gas (CNG), among others. The majority of the components are manufactured in India. Such engines have a thrust of about 8kg and run at about 1,20,000 RPM.

Bakhtiar, who took part in the Dare 2 Dream – DRDO Innovation Contest at the Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre, received an award from defence minister Rajnath Singh at the DefExpo 2022 in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar in October. He also won a cash prize of `3 lakh.

‘Dare To Dream’ is an open competition that encourages individuals and start-ups to submit innovative and unimaginative ideas that can strengthen defence and aerospace technology, resulting in the realisation of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

“Most miniature jet engines are made using the sand-casting method. I built the model using a high accuracy five Axis CNC machine. The best part is that it can be changed and scaled up at any time. By making changes to the CAD model, and later the CNC machine, it eliminates the need for expensive mould making. As far as I know, no one else in the country has built such an engine,” Khaled said.

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