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Nigerian man builds aircraft from recycled materials

Nigerian man builds aircraft from recycled materials
Nigerian man builds aircraft from recycled materials

Bolaji Fatai, a 21-year-old from Oworonshoki, a poor neighbourhood in Lagos, , has never flown in an aeroplane, but he has built his own remote-controlled model aircraft from trash and launched it high into the sky above his community. 

Fatai bought a propeller and remote control in a shop, but the rest of the aeroplane, including the body, wings, tail, and fin, were made from pieces of recycled styrofoam he found in dump sites and held together with sticky tape. The wingspan of the plane is about one metre. 

“I started this when I was seven. I started picking things around, making some little projects,” Fatai said. “Whenever I see an aeroplane flying, it gives me a very overwhelming joy.”

On a recent cloudy day, the single-propeller plane withstood crosswinds high above a sandy football field and swooped low over the heads of onlookers in Oworonshoki.

Fatai's impressive work has attracted attention, and a tech company offered him an internship after he was spotted flying the plane. He sees this as an important step towards his dream of becoming an aeronautical engineer.

“As our country is an under-developing country, so I hope to be a part of the people that will develop the country using this, my drone technology,” Fatai said.

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