How To Make a Helicopter From Your Used Toyota
When a car finally out lives its usefulness in the U.S., it is shipped off to the junk yard to be used for scrap metal. But, what else could we do with it? How about building a helicopter from the parts? This is exactly what one Nigerian man has done.
While doing some internet searching, we came across this old story (2007) of the then 24-year-old Nigerian Mubarak Muhammad Abdullahi. He was studying physics in Northern Nigeria when he got the idea to take left over parts from cars and motorbikes to build a helicopter.
According to an AFP story, the chopper he built was made from scrap aluminium and has flown briefly on six occasions. It is “powered by a second-hand 133 horsepower Honda Civic car engine and kitted out with seats from an old Toyota saloon car. Its other parts come from the carcass of a Boeing 747 which crashed near Kano some years ago.”
Even though it is an operational helicopter is hasn’t attained an altitude of more than seven feet. This is impressive though considering it is built with left over Toyota parts and uses a small engine. Plus it is a big four-seater aircraft measuring 39 feet long x 23 feet high x 16.5 feet wide.
Abdullahi said it took him eight months to build his helicopter and admits that it doesn’t have “”some basic facilities like devices for measuring atmospheric pressure, altitude, humidity and the like.”
How does it fly? Abdullahi says, “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.”
He had hoped the Nigerian government would be interested in his helicopter and would want to further develop it. This could help the government not spend so much money on Western aircraft, he said. So far, Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Authority has not shown much interest.
After making the news with his helicopter, he was named a 2010 TED Fellow, “(Technology, Entertainment, Design) is where the world’s leading thinkers and doers gather to share ideas worth spreading,” according to their website.
Whether you see the idea as a crack-pot idea or a great use of left-over parts, it is still quite a remarkable feat of engineering for a guy who only saw helicopters fly while watching action movies.
Filed Under: Auto News