Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

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.


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.

Maneck Bhujwala