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Tuesday May 6, 2008

Flying high: Aditya wins

BOYS like to dream of riding rockets into space. Not so for 18-year-old Aditya Singh – he wants to build them.

Two weeks ago, the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) gave his ambition a boost by awarding him its top award in an aircraft design competition.

The annual student competition, organised by Nasa’s Langley Research Centre, is judged by its team of aeronautic engineers. It drew over 140 research papers from young people in 15 countries.

This is Singapore’s first win.

Students were asked to design a future aircraft that would “revolutionise air travel” by 2058. Aditya Singh’s proposal sought to introduce planes to the everyman – a successor to the modern day automobile.

Rocket science: The Nasa win has given Aditya Singh a big boost.-The Straits Times

His design is a triangular two-seater aircraft 4m long and 2.5m wide. It considered 11 different aeronautic factors, ranging from vehicular manoeuvrability to runway length and energy sources.

In his research, the teenager also modified ideas from aerospace literature dating back to the 1990s. A list of 24 reference books completed his 12-page thesis.

“I have a strong desire to know how things work and how I can make them work better,” said the second-year Anglo-Chinese Junior College student.

“That’s my standard for learning.”

His dreams of flight began in Chandigarh, a city at the foothills of the Himalayan mountains in India, where he was born.

Two years ago, he won a scholarship from Singapore Airlines to study in the city state.

But before he was able to put things together, he first learnt by taking them apart.

For his achievement, Nasa will award him a trophy and a certificate.

The prize, however, is the prestige that comes from being honoured by the space research juggernaut, he said. – The Straits Times / Asia News Network

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