The Way Is Up For Young African Inventors

Gabriel Nderitu has no background in aviation engineering but he has always wanted to fly reports

Now he is close to finishing building his own twin-seater aircraft, a feat made all the more remarkable by the fact that he’s done so in the backyard of his home in the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya.

So far, the project has taken 16 months of his time and cost him 450,000 Kenyan shillings (£3,500) from his savings. The plane has a 74in propeller and a 40-litre Toyota engine and weighs 800kg. The strutted wing and ailerons are skinned with aluminium sheets. To help with the welding and the assembly, Nderitu hired five mechanics.

How did he know what to do? Nderitu spent six months researching the subject online, downloading blueprints. Some parts he ordered from the US. “It’s a boyhood dream,” he told Kenyan TV. “I just want to get it out, whether it works or not. If it gets out of my mind then I can do something else.”

Photo by Sergey Vladimirov

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