Nepali engineers to usher aeronautical dev by making light aircraft

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Kathmandu, Sep 23 (UNI) After nearly two years of research and documentation, a group of Nepali engineers are building an ultra-light aircraft, which they intend to test fly before Tihar festival.

The Light Aircraft 'Danfe' Fabrication Group, a research group of twelve students of Pulchowk Engineering Campus, plan to kick-start aeronautical development in the country by building this aircraft. ''We have almost completed essential requirements to build the aircraft and are planning to conduct the first test flight before Tihar festival,'' Kantipur newspaper quoted Bikash Parajuli, a mechanical engineer of the group, as saying.

The design and dimensions of the aircraft are based on a project report prepared by the Mechanical Engineering students of Pulchowk Campus.

As Nepal still lacked a Research and Education Institution on Aeronautical Engineering, Mr Parajuli believed that building of the ultra-light aircraft would pave way for starting an academic institution as well as manufacturing firm of such aircraft in the country.

Owing to shortage of essential materials like aircraft fabric, the engineers made a wing sail by sewing cloth together. ''The project is undergoing experimentation and close monitoring,'' he said.

Another mechanical engineer Ganesh R Sinkemana, was sure of the project's success as the construction and research work were widely appreciated by senior engineers of the country, the newspaper reported.

The two-seater aircraft would have a total take-off weight of 400 kg.

The engineers believed that the aircraft could have a positive impact on the tourism industry, apart from being a useful tool for rescue and surveillance due to its light weight and portability.

Such aircraft cost around Rs 3.5 million in the international market. However, the one being built by these engineers would cost around Rs 1.5 million.

After overcoming initial financial problems, the engineers now have the financial support of the Ministry of Science and Technology and Avia Club Nepal from Pokhara. Interestingly, the National Academy for Science and Technology (NAST) hesitated to help them citing lack of a Department to look after the hi-tech project.

UNI

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