India’s New Drone plane named after Dr. Rustom Damania

The Indian Air Force announced its latest project: a remote drone plane that is named after its chief designer Dr. Rustom B. Damania.

Here is a link to more information about the drone.

And below is an email from Maneck Bhujwala on this topic.

Friends,

It is a proud event to know that India’s new Drone aircraft (remote controlled unmanned aircraft) developed by DRDO and that will be used by India’s armed services, was named RUSTOM, to honor the memory of a Parsi Zarathushti, the late Prof. Rustom B. Damania, who led the team of engineers that developed the Light Canard Research Aircraft at the National Aeronautics Laboratory in India in the 1980s.

I lived with Rustom Damania and a couple other Parsi students in a Parsi lady’s bungalow in Baroda for a short time in 1959-1960, when we were all studying at the Engineering college over there. While he joined the Air wing of the National Cadet Corps, I joined the Rifles unit of NCC. He used to ride a blue NSU motorcycle (which used the Wankel rotary engine like that used by Mazda cars). Rustom studied aeronautical engineering in the USA and then returned to India and worked at the National Aeronautics Laboratory and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited on research projects, and established a distinguished record of accomplishments.

Rustom also worked as a consultant internationally, before he was diagnosed with a blood desease. I had offered to donate my bone marrow during a phone conversation with him (as I was a registered bone marrow donor), and Dolly Malwa in S. California, had offered to arrange for his stay in California while undergoing treatment, but he decided not to be a financial burden on his family, and sadly passed away in 2001. I performed prayers for him together with another priest as requested by his brother Ardeshir Damania who is a professor at U.C. Davis in N. California. Rustom also has another brother Minocheher Damania who lives in India.

Regards,
Maneck Bhujwala

  • Ardeshir B. Damania

    Small corrections to the story about my older brother. The NSU motorcycle that my brother rode in Baroda, Bombay, and Bangalore had a conventional single cylinder 350 cc engine. Also, his corrector title is Professor Dr Rustom B. Damania.

    Ardeshir
    UC Davis

  • Diana Bharucha

    Parsis from Bangalore are proud to have had the company of Rustom, who was a gentle and such a humble person …. little did we know of his accomplishments till he died . Now even after his death this honour comes to him ……

  • shireen

    With respect to the lifelong efforts of Professor Dr. Rustom B. Damania, I am sorry to hear that anyone would have a drone named after them. With potential for the destruction of human life and civilization, drones,bombs and the rest of the machinery of the military industrial complex have bankrupted the US economy and social fabric.

    Should India and the rest of the world measure global power and economic might on the standards of a house of cards?
    Are there other paradigms of strength,such as the overall quality of life for everyone?

  • Firoz Gotla

    I came to know Professor Dr. Rustom Damania when I was studying at the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore between 1975-1977 through my Dad, Minoo Gotla who worked at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.

    Dr. Rustom Damania was a very humble and clever gentleman, scientist and a very good cook. I am very proud of his achievements.

    I send my congratulation to his wife Dilnaz and family for this achievement and making the Parsis proud.

    Best Regards

    Firoz Gotla
    Sydney Australia

  • Ardeshir B. Damania

    We, the family of Professor Dr Rustom B. Damania, are very proud of his career and achievements. We are very proud that his research will successfully project India’s military power and keep its citizens safe from harm by the enemy. Shireen as a citizen of India (unless you are a Pakistani) you too would be protected from harm by the drone “Rustom” just as the king in Iran’s kingdom was protected single-handedly by the great Rustom Pahelwan. Shame on you for trying to run down my late brother.

  • Ardeshir B. Damania

    We, the family of Professor Dr Rustom B. Damania, are very proud of his career and achievements. We are very proud that his research will successfully project India’s military power and keep its citizens safe from harm by the enemy. Shireen as a citizen of India (unless you are a Pakistani) you too would be protected from harm by the drone “Rustom” just as the king in Iran’s kingdom was protected single-handedly by the great Rustom Pahelwan. Shame on you for trying to run down my late brother.

  • Hemant

    People now know that the UAV is named after him, after being displayed in 26th January parade in 2012.

  • KK

    I read about the sad and untimely demise of Rustom only now. I remember him as a young student at IISc in early 60’s. Always humble and helpful.

  • KK

    I read about the sad and untimely demise of Rustom only now. I remember him as a young student at IISc in early 60’s. Always humble and helpful.