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Kenyan Builds True Scratchbuilt Aircraft

Scratchbuilt Aircraft
Kenyan homebuilder Gabriel Nderitu test runs his aircraft’s engine, a Toyota conversion capable of 4000 rpm.

Scratchbuilt Aircraft
The aircraft is quite modular as tail, aft fuselage sections and wings can be readily removed.

Scratchbuilt Aircraft

October 13, 2010 — Gabriel Nderitu hardly lacks enthusiasm and ingenuity, and he will need all of that if his scratchbuilt aircraft is to become the first homebuilt to fly in Kenya. The aircraft is indeed “homebuilt” as it looks like it was assembled from parts of other vehicles and machinery. Nderitu says he has had a passion for aviation since he was a boy; with no prior training in engineering or aviation, he built his own design after six months of intensive research on the Internet.

“A bit of it [was] inventing the wheel, and not really looking and trying to copy,” Nderitu told CitizenTV.

The aircraft is a high-wing, with side-by-side seating and detachable tail boom, tail section, and wings. The aircraft weighs 1,763 pounds and is powered by a Toyota engine with a 74-inch wood propeller capable of 4000 rpm. Gabriel’s improvisation is evident in how he has hung the flaps on the trailing edge of the wing as well as the configuration of the cockpit controls. Nderitu has test run the engine and is preparing for a possible first flight in the next two weeks.

Nderitu says it took him a year to build the aircraft and he employed five welders to assist in the construction. According to the news report there have been two other attempts by Kenyans to build and fly an airplane and Gabriel wants to be the first to succeed.

Will it fly? Let us know what you think on Oshkosh365.

 
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