Sunday, November 05, 2017

The man who built an aeroplane on his Mumbai rooftop

Mumbai: Seven years ago, Amol Yadav announced to his family and friends that he would build an aeroplane on the roof of a boxy apartment building in the teeming Indian city of Mumbai.
Incredulous friends and family members asked the young pilot how he planned to bring the plane down once it was complete.
"I really don't know," he told them.
Mr Yadav, who flies twin-engine turboprop planes for a living, is nothing if not obstinate.
The five-storey building, home to his 19-member joint family, didn't have a lift, so they lugged factory lathes, compressors, welding machines, and an imported 180kg (396lb) engine up the narrow stairwell to the roof.
Braving sticky summers and torrential monsoon rains, Mr Yadav and his motley crew - an automobile garage mechanic and an expert fabricator - worked under a tarp shed on the unkempt 111.5 sq m (1,200 sq ft) roof, less than half the size of a tennis court.
In February last year, his six-seater propeller plane was ready.
It is, according to Mr Yadav, the first such aircraft built at home in India.
The engine, he claims, is powerful enough to make the plane climb up to 3,920m (13,000ft); and the tank can hold enough fuel to cover a distance of 2,000km, cruising at 342km (185 nautical miles) an hour.
On the rooftop, however, the plane strained to fit in, its tail stretching over the parapet wall and protruding into the smoggy sky.
"Now we had to take the plane down from the top of the roof and show it to the people," Mr Yadav, 41, told me recently at his residence.
05/11/17 Soutik Biswas/BBC News

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