A northern Nigerian college student built his own helicopter from an old Toyota car engine and scavenged parts from a Boeing 747 that crashed near his town of Kano. Mubarak Muhammad Abdullahi, 24, has already briefly flown it four times and is now constructing a new model based on a motorcycle engine. He says it will fly for several hours at the low attitude of 15 feet. Abdullahi says he was inspired to build his choppers from watching action movies and learned to fly by reading about it online. From AFP:
The (current model's) 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.
Link (Thanks, Sean Ness!)
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