The Rigveda mentions "mechanical birds".
- kṛṣṇáṃ niyânaṃ hárayaḥ suparṇâ / apó vásānā dívam út patanti
- tá âvavṛtran sádanād ṛtásyâd / íd ghṛténa pṛthivî vy ùdyate
- 48. dvâdaśa pradháyaś cakrám ékaṃ / trîṇi nábhyāni ká u tác ciketa
- tásmin sākáṃ triśatâ ná śaṅkávo / 'rpitâḥ ṣaṣṭír ná calācalâsaḥ
Whether or not these were truly man made aircrafts is debatable. Some may say this is just the imagination of the author or even a more bizarre claim that they were flying saucers.
The Vaimanika Shastra ("Science of Aeronautics") is a Sanskrit text on aeronautics, discussing construction of vimanas, the "chariots of the gods", mythical self-moving aerial cars in the Sanskrit epics.
The existence of the text was revealed in 1952 by G. R. Josyer, according to whom it is due to one Pandit Subbaraya Shastry, who dictated it in 1918-1923. A Hindi translation was published in 1959, the Sanskrit text with an English translation in 1973. It has 3000 shlokas in 8 chapters and is was attributed by Shastry to Maharishi Bharadvaja.