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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

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WATCH: Engineer builds his own plane during lockdown and travels with family through Europe

Malayali mechanical engineer based in the UK made use of the Covid-induced lockdown to build an aircraft to travel to different countries with his family. Picture: AP

Malayali mechanical engineer based in the UK made use of the Covid-induced lockdown to build an aircraft to travel to different countries with his family. Picture: AP

Published Jul 29, 2022

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Ashok Thamarakshan, is a mechanical engineer from the Alappuzha district of Kerala, India. He earned a pilot’s licence from a British civil aviation company earlier.

Thamarakshan said: “It was in the time of lockdown when I got the idea of making an aircraft.

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“I built a temporary workshop in my house in London. I started the work on the aircraft in May 2019, and completed it on November 21, 2021.”

“For the licence, there was three months trial flight. The first flight was on February 7, 2022, in London. It was for 20 minutes. Our family tour to Germany, France and Italy began on May 6,” he said.

Thamarakshan thought of making the aircraft on his own due to the traffic block. Now, with the aircraft, he can travel 250km in an hour without any traffic blocks.

“I always wanted to take my family on trips in aircraft. Hiring aircraft was too expensive an option. I built aircraft mostly during the lockdown. We flew across four countries, and the aircraft is capable of flying across the country,” Thamarakshan said.

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The plane with four seats, one on which he flew to various countries is made at an expenditure of €140 000 euros (about R2.3m).

He named his aircraft “G Diya” where G represents the icon of flights in London and “Diya” is his younger daughter’s name.

His wife Abhilasha is a native of Indore and working in the insurance sector in London. The family will return to London on July 30. Ashok Thamarakshan, lives in Billericay, Essex, UK.

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