Vymanika Shastra projects the pilot as a special craftsman whose training and qualitative requirements are specific. He is referred to as ‘Rhahasyagnodhikari’, implying that he is the authorized custodian of the secrets of the Vimana and its systems. The qualitative requirements of training and skills mentioned in the work have strikingly analogous to those prescribed for modern combat pilots.

The features of the vimana are referred to as secrets, possibly used in a generic sense. The correct interpretation should be that the pilot is the skilled operator who alone is entitled for the full knowledge of the features provided on the vimana. Thirty-two such secrets or features have been mentioned. Very high levels of proficiency and learning have been prescribed for him. Specific reference to the structural knowledge of the vimana, flying skills including combat maneuvers and aerobatics are noticed. Vymanika shastra quotes the work “Rahasya lahari” and other work by Lallacharya and others.

Special observations:

  • Stringent training and operational standards stipulated are in consonance with similar standards prescribed for modern aviators.

  • It is to be noted that spectacular feats performed by the pilot are included in his skill expectations. Evidently combat maneuvers are being talked about at the time of verbal narration of the text {before 1918 AD}, when the contemporary military aviation {corresponding to the end of I-world war} was yet to conceive aerobatics and combat maneuvers.

  • The pilot talked about in the text is a full-fledged combat pilot capable of engagement in military roles. ‘Rahasya lahari’ and other works by Lallacharya are quoted in this context.

While this work talks of the pilot as a master aviator, Vedas, Epics and Samarangana suthradhara of Bhoja Raja have looked at him in an identical manner. ‘Arthashastra’ of Kautilya (3rd century BC), essentially dealing with political economics, also refers to the pilot as ‘Saubhika’, a term derived from Soubha Vimana featuring at several occasions in Mahabharata and Bhagawata. The pilot is also referred to, more appropriately, as ‘Aakaasha Yodhah’, a warrior in the sky. He is even called a ’ fighter in the sky’. Mahabharata stipulates at least ten types of aerobatic movements for combatants.

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