This is the plane that Asmelash Zeferu will attempt to take off in -- despite having never flown before. The Ethiopian researched for over 10 years before spending 570 days building the plane, modeled on one used to train pilots in the U.S. during the 1920s and 30s.
Zeferu dreamed of becoming a pilot as a child, but despite a strong academic record, could not enroll in flight school as he was one centimeter too short. This spurred him on to create an airplane of his own.
Zeferu is not employed within the aviation sector, meaning all his research was entirely independent. Over a 10- year period manuals and YouTube tutorials taught him the engineering behind planes and how each component -- including the laminated wooden propeller, above -- could be made in the workshop.
Most of the components were hand-crafted, with others bought second hand at Addis Ababa's largest market. The chassis is made from a re-purposed motorcycle frame and the engine is taken from a Volkswagen.
Zeferu first attempted to fly the plane in June this year, but was unsuccessful due to a fault with the propeller. Unperturbed, he made the necessary repairs and received advice from friends with the global aviation community. Later this year he will try once more from an airstrip 40 kilometers north of Addis Ababa.
Zeferu plans to cruise at a height of 10 meters, and take off is the easy part according to the aspiring pilot. Hitting speeds of 145 kilometers per hour, Zeferu will take off, cruise at 120 kmph, before landing at 70kmph.
Zeferu says that the biggest challenge during the project was the detractors that surrounded him, many of whom labeled him "mad" for trying to build a plane independently in Ethiopia.