Two Nigerian mini-aircraft wizards hold minister spellbound

planeIN the past, it would only happen in a fairy tale. But today, it’s happening live and the world is becoming witness to the talents being unleashed to the society through Nigeria. How else can one describe a country which teenagers could design and produce a mini-aircraft that could fly for about 3000 to 4000 miles above the sea level and covering a distance of about five to six kilometers. This was witnessed by the Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, with staff of the ministry and other observers when the Delta State born inventor of the technology, Aghogho Ajiyen and Ayola Olaolu of Oyo State demonstrated their craft at Eagle Square, Abuja last week. Ajiyen,   an indigene of Oghara, in Delta state told the minister  that his creativity and passion for aircraft fabrication dated back to his teenage years   when he watched planes land and take off from the Old Warri airport. Ajiyen who also told the minister that he neither had formal education nor entered an aircraft in his life, said he only conducted personal research and read books until he discovered some of the basic principles of flight and converted them into a real live machine. His words: “when I was very small, around 1992, I tried to build my first aircraft, living somewhere around old airport in Warri, where I used to see aircrafts flying up and landing. Before then, I had been building cars. But seeing planes triggered a passion in me to create something that can resist the downward pull of gravity. “In that 1992, I tried but it did not move not to talk of flying. I tried again in 1994, but no way. At a time, I concluded that these white men were into some voodoo and I eventually backed off. “Not being too comfortable, I decided to go back. In 1997, I tried again and at a point I mustered courage, insisting that even if it means dying there, at least to prove that a black man can do it. I went into a research, reading books until I discovered some of the basic principles of flight, pressure, Newtons Law of Motion among others. I also went further to study how the powers in the principles can be converted into a real live machine. “It was after these much struggle that around 1999, I built another plane, in a very shaky way, it was a able to leave the ground to just a couple of feat. To me then, it was a major milestone but to people around, it was a waste of time. But from 1999 to date, I have been able to refine and transform that primitive plane to sophisticated master piece I have shown today.” In his remarks, the Minister said he was happy that the strength of Nigeria can not only be described as lying in the mineral resources but also in the citizens. He assured that the ministry would assist all Nigerian inventors to realize their dreams by making their ideas become products and services to the global market place that will be of tremendous benefit to the nation.

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