Friday, November 22, 2013

UAE’s first student-built aircraft to take to the skies in 2014

UAE’s first indigenously built manned flight will be ready to take off in 2014. Work on the twin-seater aircraft is almost 90 per cent complete, especially after the much awaited engine was shipped in early this year.
Except for the engine, all other parts of the aircraft is designed and built by the faculty and students of the Aviation and Engineering Department of HCT in Dubai.

The aircraft is powered by a 4 cylinder Rotex engine and was shipped in from Germany earlier this year. “Last year, too, we had featured this project at the Dubai Air Show, but minus the engine and the landing gear,” said Abdullah Ahmad, 20, one of the students who has been working on the project.

Students are hoping that they can fly the aircraft by the last quarter of 2014. “Work is almost 90 per cent complete. This year we managed to fit out he engine, the elevator and the landing gear. What remains is the final touches, the covering of the body and cabling,” he said.

According to him the project was initiated in 2006 and so far about 100 odd students have participated in developing the aircraft. “Every single part except for the engine has been designed from scratch. The design was prepared by one of our faculty Salvador, who has also been assisting us in making this into a success,” said Jassim Essa, 21, another student.

The student-built aircraft weighs approximately 590 kilograms (1,300lbs and has a wing span of 29 feet and a length of 22.5 feet. It will be accompanied by a smaller aircraft, also built by HCT students, which has a wing span of ten feet and a length of five feet.

The displays are part of the students' final-year projects, which are incorporated into their assessments for the relevant aviation courses.

Students from the institute are actively participating in the HCT stand at the Air Show sharing the stage with leading experts from the industry, such as Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems and other manufacturers.

“It gives us immense exposure to be here and interact with some the leading experts in the field of aircraft manufacturing and maintenance,” added Essa.

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