The world gives credit to Wright Brothers for creating the first airplane but is that true? Some say that the first airplane to be ever made and flown was by an Indian named Shivkar Bapuji Talpade in 1895. It is being said that he designed and flew an air plane 8 years before Wright Brothers did so and that he used Vedic Mercury Ion Design to create the first unmanned air plane that flew for few minutes, reached a height of 1500 feet in air and eventually crashed.
It must be noted that the concept of ‘Flying Vehicle’ or ‘Vimana’ already existed in ancient Hindu Mythology and that Rig Veda has extensively described how to make and fly a Vimana. Talpade named his creation Marutsakha. It is actually a combined word consisting of Marut and Sakha, both of which are Sanskrit words. Marut in Sanskrit means air or steam and Sakha in Sanskrit means friend. Thus, Marutsakha literally translated into ‘Friend of Wind’.
It is being said that Talpade created Marutsakha or the first airplane using the knowledge he earned from his Guru but eventually no further research was carried out because of lack of funding.
Pt. S.D. Satawlekar – one of the students of Talpade – wrote the following words: “a curious scholarly audience headed by a famous Indian judge and a nationalist, Mahadeva Govinda Ranade and H H Sayaji Rao Gaekwad, respectively, had the good fortune to see the unmanned aircraft named as ‘Marutsakthi’ take off, fly to a height of 1500 feet and then fall down to earth”.
“Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute” also mentions the presence of Mahadeva Govinda Ranade and Sayaji Rao Gaekwad during the flight of Marutsakha. Kesari – a Marathi-language newspaper covered the entire event. Times of India published an article in 2004 regarding the same which can be found here. It is being said that post experiment, Marutsakha was stored at Talpade’s house for a very long time after his death in 1916.
Vile Parle – a suburb in Mumbai, once hosted an aviation exhibition where the reconstructed model of Marutsakha was displayed. Currently, all documents related to the experiment are in possession of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.