Tanzania is building its own helicopters and the first batch of these choppers is expected to start flying soon, Daily News has reported.
A two seater chopper made in the country is in fact in its final stages of production.
Daily News reported that the program was launched by Arusha Technical College, department of Mechanical and Engineering to build affordable choppers for Tanzanians to ease the country’s transport woes.
“We are complementing President (John Pombe) Magufuli’s industrialisation policy in pioneering the first locally made helicopters that will be available to ordinary residents at affordable prices,” Engineer Abdi Mjema, the man behind the ATC chopper project, said.
The pioneer air craft which is halfway complete has a chassis as well as airframe ready. It also has the popular gasoline powered Volkswagen engine board used to make the “Robinson” helicopters in the United States.
“Once we get the aviation authority approval, we shall complete the most sensitive part of the helicopter mounting the main rotor” said the engineer.
The helicopter is expected to be ready to fly in three weeks’ time.
Eng Mjema said Arusha will set history by becoming the first region to fly the first-ever Tanzanian manufactured helicopter in July 2016.
The college will be able to produce up to 20 choppers in a year once it gets permission from the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority.
“The Tanzania-made helicopters will fly before 2020 and specifically 2018, which is two years from now,” said Engineer Mjema.