An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Nigerian Jugaad (Innovation): Kid builds helicopter in his backyard!

Apache Helicopter (Press-out & Build)

When there isn’t enough money, people become innovative! In Punjab, people created Maruta – a small vehicle – out of bullock cart trailer.

Assembled in the sugarcane fields of UP and Punjab, this bare bones transport is put together using a pump, a wooden plank and old tyres. It has a 20-seater bullock cart trailer attached to its rear. A steering is jacked into the shaft and the 12-horsepower pump engine is hand cranked to give speeds crossing 20km/hour.

Now, this kid in Nigeria has created a helicopter in his backyard out of a car and a motor cyle. Here are the details of how he built.. go ahead and try one out:

“It took me eight months to build this one,” he said, sweat pouring from his forehead as he filled the radiator of the banana yellow four-seater which he now parks in the grounds of his university.

The chopper, which has flown briefly on six occasions, is made from scrap aluminium that Abdullahi bought with the money he makes from computer and mobile phone repairs, and a donation from his father, who teaches at Kano‘s Bayero university.

It is powered by a second-hand 133 horsepower Honda Civic car engine and kitted out with seats from an old Toyota saloon car. Its other parts come from the carcass of a Boeing 747 which crashed near Kano some years ago.

For a four-seater it is a big aircraft, measuring twelve metres (39 feet) long, seven metres high by five wide. It has never attained an altitude of more than seven feet.

The cockpit consists of a push-button ignition, an accelerator lever between the seats which controls vertical thrust, a joystick that provides balance and bearing.

A small screen on the dashboard connects to a camera underneath the helicopter for ground vision, a set of six buttons adjusts the screen’s brightness while a small transmitter is used for communication.

“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 rmp you press the joystick and it takes off,” Abdullahi explained from the cockpit.

He said he learned the rudiments of flying a helicopter from the Internet and first got the idea of building one from the films he watches on television.

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