Homemade African aircraft are salvagepunk cool (even if they're not 100% airworthy)

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In the last couple years, amateur engineers from Africa have built DIY planes and helicopters out of recycled parts. These rigs look undeniably bad-ass, even if it's unclear whether they can get off the ground.

In Kahawa West, Kenya, Gabriel Nderitu is building an 800-kilogram aircraft using a Toyota engine and other aluminum pieces over the course of a year. Nderitu has no engineering experience, but he claims to be building the plane as an inspirational gesture to children. Local news has been following his progress recently — there's no word on whether it'll ever get off the ground, but it takes a steel resolve to build a plane with detachable wings.

And in Somaliland, Mohamed Abdi Barkadle, Saed Abdi Jide and Abdi Farah Lidan built this homemade helicopter to fight fires. Judging from this video from January, it's unclear whether their creation can fly, but when's the last time you built a DIY Airwolf (with zero financial backing) to help your local fire brigade?


Finally, in 2007 Mubarak Muhammad Abdullahi of Nigeria built this helicopter using scrap aluminum and parts of a Honda Civic, a Toyota, and a Boeing 747. He claimed he flew it fly seven feet off the ground, which probably is the optimal altitude in these kinds of situations. There's a fine line between a world of pain and a Touchstone Pictures biopic ("The Man Who Built A Helicopter In His Backyard").

[Via Afrigadget here, here, and here]