Ethiopian man builds own plane to make true a dream to fly

ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) — Since childhood, Ethiopian Asme- lash Zeferu has dreamed to become a pilot. Decades later, although not a pilot, the 35-year-old built his own plane. The aircraft with a two-seat cockpit was made from pieces of material including wood, metal, and aluminum. Born in Tigray region, northern Ethiopia, Asmelash has named the aircraft K-570A. K stands for the initial of his mother’s name, Kiros Wolde-Michael; 570 refers to the days taken to build the aircraft; and A is for aircraft.
Asmelash made his first test flight with his-own-invented plane in June this year, but didn’t succeed.
He plans to make his “final test flight” on an open grass field beside his home within a few weeks, saying he would fly the plane 10 meters high above the ground. Asmelash has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chinese telecom company ZTE, which pledged support to Asmelash’s activities through a sponsorship package scheme. “I gladly acknowledges his creativity and positive impact that contributes to initiating and triggering the minds of other fellow Ethiopians in terms of innovation of advanced technologies in the future,” said Zhang Jintao, Deputy CEO of ZTE Ethiopia. This MoU showed the company’s commitment to shoulder social responsibilities, he said, par- ticularly those that have to do with innovation, technology, and academic enhancement. “As part of its social responsibility, ZTE has been supporting many social and eco- nomic activities in Ethiopia since
2000, the year we started operating in Ethiopia,” he said. In addition to knowledge transfer in the telecom sector, ZTE has been supporting education in Ethiopia, especially in terms of enabling educational institutions to get connected to one another and to their global counterparts, according to Zhang. Asmelash said he was glad to have the ZTE spon- sorship for the final test flight. “I have solved everything… I have up-graded the engine and now every- thing is perfect to make my final test flight,” he said.
He hoped the K-570A could be a brand to be manufactured by 2031. He has placed his own-made tiny plane at his residential area in Sendafa, a small town about 39 km east of the capital Addis Ababa. Asmelash told Xinhua that the land- ings and taking-offs by planes in the place where he grew up have caused his aspirations for flying since his childhood.
He said he didn’t meet the height requirement 14 years back by the Ethiopian Airlines pilot school as he was a centimeter short of the requirement height then.


Posted by on Jan 17 2016. Filed under African News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply