A home-made helicopter built in Malawi by 45 year-old Felix Kambwiri is making waves. According to reports, Kambwiri has spent four months building the chopper, which he constructed from scrap metal and fibre glass in his garage.
The helicopter is yet to take to the skies and awaits approval from the civil aviation authorities who need to first conduct safety checks. The inventor has won the hearts of many owing to his determination.
Kambwiri joins a list of aviation enthusiasts across Africa who have dreamt of building their own aircraft and taking to the skies. We look at five amateur enthusiasts who have built their own aircraft.
Asmelash Zerefu last year constructed ‘Ethiopia’s first ever home-built aircraft’ made by reading aviation books online and watching YouTube tutorials. The aircraft, K-570A, a two seater light aircraft is yet to fly.
Onesmus Mwangi in 2013 in the village of Magomano, Kenya unveiled his 25 kilo-gramme helicopter, built from scrap metal.
Gabriel Nderitu Muturi, another Kenyan, spent three years building a homemade two-seater aircraft.
Daniel Chingoma a Zimbabwean engineer designed and built a helicopter in 2003, which he named the “Zimcopter” made from scrap metal. Unfortunately, the dream was never fulfilled and the aircraft never took off.
Mubarak Muhammad Abdullahi, a Nigerian aviation enthusiast in 2007 built his own chopper.
Source: Nyasa Times