The air craft expertise was present in India since times immemorial. Long before the Westerners, we had our own technology since the times of Ramayana. Ramayan mentions different kinds of aeroplanes and aircrafts at various places. Shri Valmiki mentions in the Ayodhya Kand that Bhagwan Rams’ palace resembled a huge aircraft. This conjecture itself proves that aircraft technology was popular in the era of Ramayan itself. The marvellous aircraft namely the Pushpak was also from the time of Ramayan. Shri Valimiki says
ब्रहमणो अर्थ क्ऱ्तम् दिव्यम दिवि यद् विश्व कर्मणा |
विमानम् पुष्पकम् नाम सर्वे रत्न विभूषितम् ||
He says the Pushpak Viman was created by the divine architect Vishwakarma for Bramha Ji. The god of Wealth, Kuber attains it from Bramha Ji after pleasing the latter with his penance and austerities.
Later, Ravan snatches the Pushpak from Kuber and takes it for himself. This Pushpak Viman was capable of flying anywhere in the world. It was endowed with great aircraft technique and snatching it through his sorcery, Ravan believes himself to be the master of the three worlds. Many of his encounters with Bhagwan Shiv, Kartaveeryarjun, Bali and likewise had happened when he was traveling all the three worlds in the Pushpak Viman.
The architectural marvel of the Pushpak Viman is mentioned in the Yuddh Kand. Hanuman while searching for Sita, comes across the Pushpak Viman and he is astonished at its craft work. He sees the Pushpak with its golden shine and it amazes him. There were crystals and precious stones in abundance there, trees with flowers and the images of Goddess Lakshmi and it was floating in the air, instead of standing on the ground. It looked like a palace in the sky.
This description gives an idea as to how magnificent was the engineering skill present in those days. Not only for its built up marvels, but it was popular for its speeding technology too. This was mentioned by Vibhishan to Shri Ram when the latter was worried as to how to reach Ayodhya.
Vibhishan says that the Pushpak could take them all in a day to Ayodhya. He mentions it could travel in the speed of thought, which remains an impossible task for today’s aircraft technology. Another wonderful feature was that of the Pushpak capable to reducing or increasing its size according to the required capacity. Thus, with such extra ordinary craftsmanship, Pushpak carried Shri Ram, Mata Sita, Lakshman, Vibhishan, Sugriv, Hanuman Jambavant and all of the Vaanar army back with them to Ayodhya as all wanted to witness the coronation of Shri Ram.
Unlike Ravan, who had a desire to possess all the wondrous objects under his control, Shri Ram send the Pushpak to go back to its true owner, Kuber. At Alkapuri, the abode of Kuber, Kuber welcomes the Pushpak, but very humbly says that it would belong to none other than Shri Ram itself, and requests the Pushpak to go back to Shri Ram, which the aircraft does.
The most generous lord hearing to this grants total freedom to the magnificent aircraft and says it could roam at its free will, wherever it wanted. He requested it to come to him, when he needs it and thinks of it. Thus, the great aircraft Pushpak comes into the service of Bhagwan Ram and attains glory.