Test flying involves handling different class of airplanes in a variety of situations. Wg.Cdr.P.Ashoka's five decades of test flying is replete with incidents - some exhilarating, a few momentarily challenging and many leading to major flight emergencies.
Inspired by an original by Frank Wooton, this depicts a pair of RAF Hawker Hart biplanes over the Himalayas in the 1930s.
K S Raman
Size: 7 items
K S Raman ( 1955-2003 )
Tribute by Group Captain Kapil Bhargava (Retd)
As a toddler, Raman used to sit in his father’s lap and see beautiful black and white photographs of “Fighter Planes” of the late 1940s and early 50s. By the age of three he could identify Spitfires and Vampires. He learnt to draw and paint on his own while still in school. But his main interest was in sculpture and model making.
As an enthusiastic youngster, Raman took to flying and soloed in an Aeronca Super Chief at Jakkur in Bangalore. Obviously his interest in flying was inherited. It was the same aircraft in which his father had done his solo. He obtained a Private Pilot’s Licence and also flew the Pushpak and Cessna 152 as pilot in charge. Until about ten years ago, he did more modelling, especially of vintage cars, than paintings. His work is mentioned on several web sites and articles about his models have been published in many magazines and newspapers in India and abroad. But then he saw some excellent aviation paintings of a few foreign artists and decided to try his hand at it.
Meanwhile, he had become a senior scientist at National Aerospace Laboratories in Bangalore. With his engineering knowledge and interest in model making, Raman approached aviation painting in a meticulous manner. He would make an exact model of the aircraft to be painted, set it up in the attitude he wanted and arrange lighting around it to discover the best method of showing it off. He would also carefully study the aircraft performance, its main characteristics and even the texture of its skin to paint it to his satisfaction. Raman used to say that an aircraft is not an object in isolation in a setting in the air or the ground. It has to be integrated into the background, especially the sky. And, the sky and clouds give an artist great leeway in bringing a painting to life. His paintings were all watercolour, which he found easier to handle. He used to work on a painting eight or nine times till the intensity of each colour was to his liking. Some of his paintings have been exhibited abroad, accorded found honourable mentioned in the catalogues. Raman passed away in July 2003 at the young age of 46. May his soul rest in peace.
For someone who is keeping in touch with the Bharat Rakshak Site as well as the Warbirds of India Website, K S Raman's name would sound quite familiar. He is the same gentleman, who helped Andy and Jeff Remington of UK restore a HAL Pushpak in Britain. Raman is a senior Scientist with the National Aerospace Laboratories. He is a person with multiple interests and skills. An avid aficionado of Vintage motoring , he spends his leisure time in scratch building Scale models of Vintage cars , as well as Aircraft. Not only Vintage Rolls Royce cars and Bikes, but also several excellent resin based models of aircraft like the Spitfire, Hurricane, Hunter, SR-71 etc.
Being an engineer helps -- he does his own scale plans of model parts. And being a Private Pilot License Holder also helps! -- He can visualize his subject aircraft before putting the brush to the canvas. His interest in Vintage motoring resulted in several paintings on 1930s and 1920s motoring theme paintings. For his effort he had been an Associate Member of the Guild of Motoring Artists in U.K.in 1999. It was only natural that he should also try his skill at Aviation.
One of his paintings titled 'Himalayan Hunters' depicts a pair of No.20 Squadron's Hunters over the snow clad Himalayan mountains. This particular piece of art got selected for the 5th Annual Horizons of Flight Aviation Art Exhibition and Competition organized by Simuflite Center in Texas,USA in 1997. It was on display at the Simuflite Center for four months. Another magnificent painting is 'Gladiator Gale' , which was submitted to the Experimental Aircraft Association's Annual Aviation Art competition in 1995.The painting depicts a pair of RAF Gloster Gladiators stationed in Iraq in the late 30's warming up in the morning. This painting was selected for display in EAA's Art competition, and won 'Honorable Mention' award and was displayed in EAA museum for one year.
Recently when the test pilot of NAL, Wg Cdr P Ashoka retired from 50 years of professional flying, he was felicitated by NAL for his contributions to test flying. Raman completed three paintings on Wg Cdr Ashoka , all of them depicting Wg Cdr Ashoka flying at different stages of his career.
On display in his living room or more excellent piece of works. Like 'Mosquito Raid' (of a Low level De Havilland Mosquito raid over the low lands) and 'Harts over the Himalayas' (Reproduced on this page). In the days to come we hope not only to display his other paintings but also showcase the various Aircraft models he had built!
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