DRDO develops autorickshaw helicopter

DRDO strikes back. After a embarrassingly funny post on DRDO appeared on the front page of Humor Unplugged yesterday, the Defense Research and Development Organization came back with a strong response. India’s very own defense research white elephant has claimed that it has developed a kit that can be used to convert an ordinary autorickshaw into a combat ready helicopter.

DRDO unveiled the kit and a ‘autochopper’ at an exhibition organized in New Delhi today morning, much to the surprise of many a mediaperson. Humor Unplugged’s New Delhi correspondent Doorknob Goatswami, who was having his breakfast when he got a call from none other than DRDO chief V Saraswat to come to the venue, rushed without finishing his oatmeal only to be stunned by what he saw--an sleek autochopper waiting to be photographed by eager mediafolks.

DRDO claims that the autochopper can fly in almost any terrain and comes with a tamper proof GPS-based meter, so that autochopper pilots don’t overcharge defense personnel. The chopper can carry two-three defense personnel on deep intrusion missions into enemy territory and combines the benefits of autorickshaw with a helicopter. It runs on a mixture of kerosene and certified municipal water with 30 cc v/v sewage. The nation already has a vast pool of autorickshaw drivers who can be trained to take over as pilots for these autochoppers.  “Knowing our auto guys, there’s nothing to worry. These autochoppers can fly to any location and in any type of airspace, even the constricted or restricted ones. In case they encounter any enemy aircraft, they can cause much damage by flying near them or even by braking suddenly in front of them,” Saraswat said.

Interestingly, though no one from the armed forces turned up at the venue, Saraswat did attract some attention from key civil aviation players in India. Union uncivil aviation minister Praful Patel, who was at the venue with his daughter said that his ministry was open to the idea of using the autochoppers for ferrying passengers via air. “I will discuss this concept with my close friend and pal Naresh Goyal and come back to you,” Patel said. Vijay Mallya, who was also present at the venue with a few arm candies, was skeptical about the idea, since there was no scope of accommodating air hostesses in the chopper.  Patel’s daughter only had one question for Saraswat. “How soon can an autochopper be diverted”, she asked without bating her mascara laden eyelid.

One reason for worry for Saraswat was night missions. “These guys will charge over and above the meter fare for night missions or those carried out during rains. This could add to the mission costs,” he said.

Pakistan meanwhile has asked US to supply it with 80 autochoppers for its army. An angry Pakistani foreign minister Qureshi lashed out at US for denying it 'advanced technology' to enable his country to gain strategic parity with India.

'The Autochopper'


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