The East African nation of Tanzania is building its own helicopters. A group of engineers has embarked on a mission to deliver the first batch of Tanzanian-made helicopter in 2018.
Easing the country’s transportation issues
The project, initiated by the Arusha Technical College’s department of Mechanical Engineering consists in delivering affordable choppers in order to remedy to Tanzania’s transportation issues. The first prototype is currently in its final stage of completion. The two-seater aircraft will have a flying ceiling of 400 feet at first because of the mountainous region and the fact that the cabin is not pressurized. According to the engineers, the mid to long-term objective is to allow the machines to fly at 8,000 feet above sea levels like normal commercial choppers.
“We are complementing President Magufuli’s industrialisation policy in pioneering the first locally made helicopters that will be available to ordinary residents at affordable prices,” stated Abdi Mjema, the engineer behind the project.
Ready by 2018
Adisai Msongole and Abdi Mjema are the two engineers who came up with the idea of building Tanzanian helicopters two months ago. They initially thought about using the choppers for surveillance, rescue and agricultural purposes, however, the y reframed the concept to transporting people.
As of today, the Arusha Technical College runs an integral factory that produces different types of engines. The engineers are awaiting the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority’s permission to fly the helicopter for trials. Once the authorization is granted, they will produce the first batch of 20 flying machines.
“The Tanzania-made helicopters will fly before 2020, and specifically 2018, which is two years from now,” Mjema said.