Settling for the classroom theories is no longer the trend. Many are opting for the practical part of it.
Mubarak Muhammed Abdullahi is yet another African who has made a tech-invention with little or no professional training. The 24-year old Nigerian Physics student created a working helicopter.
He sourced his materials from parts of an old car and a bicycle.
Mubarak says he self-educated himself on the basics of helicopter flying through the internet. From his research he decided to build a helicopter because it would be easier than a car.
Over time, Nigeria has seen series of home-grown inventors make prototypes of locally made cars using materials of different kinds- raffia, wood and metal scraps.
After making his decision to make a chopper, Mubarak Muhammed Abdullahi spent 8 months building it.
To sponsor the invention, he worked to earn money for it. Mubarak used his earnings from cellphone and computer repairs.
The 12 metre long and yellow-colored helicopter is powered by a 133 horsepower engine he got from a Honda Civic car.
Though it has never flown above seven feet, Mubarak says flying the aircraft is pretty easy,
“You start it, allow it to run for a minute or two and you then shift the accelerator forward and the propeller on top begins to spin,”
“The further you shift the accelerator the faster it goes and once you reach 300 rpm you press the joystick and it takes off.”
For the cockpit fitting, there are 4 Toyota car seats, arranged in two’s. The controls section contains an ignition button and an accelerator which controls the vertical thrust. It also contains a joystick which helps with balance and bearing.
Mubarak also fitted the dash with camera which is connected to a small screen. This feature will help the pilot get the ground vision. The pilot also communicates through a transmitter in the cockpit.
The young inventor whose creation is largely commended is nursing a plan to make another aircraft which will be better than the first one.
For instance, in this first trial, Mubarak acknowledges that the helicopter has no the gear that measures atmospheric pressure, altitude and humidity.
Mubarak Muhammed Abdullahi says his second helicopter will be an upgraded version of the first one. He says it “will be a radical improvement on the first one in terms of sophistication and aesthetics”.
He intends that the new one will be a two-seater with the ability to fly at 15 feet for three hours at a time. Unlike the secondhand Honda Civic engine, he aims at using a brand-new engine.
The common problem with young African inventors is usually sponsorship. It would be worth it if national governments can invest in raw talents like Mubarak’s and maximize their potentials.
These local inventors may be the future of technology in Africa.