He wants to be the first Kenyan to make and fly a homemade aeroplane manufactured using locally available materials.

And just like the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, who are credited with inventing and building the world's first airplane in the 19th century, Gabriel Nderitu has already made11 planes.

But so far he has not been successful in having any of them fly.

However, that has not dampened his resolve to one day fly in his own aeroplane.

The IT expert from Nyeri County was on Wednesday last week fly-testing two of his three remaining planes at Kambirwa airstrip in Kiharu, Murang’a County.

He has three planes named Viwanda1, 2 and 3.

His earlier versions either crashed or were dismantled after they were found to be too heavy during test flights at Kangundo and Murang’a.

One of the aircrafts he was attempting to fly on Wednesday is manually controlled while the second one is remote controlled.

“I began this journey five years ago.


I have spent about Sh1million attempting to fly my home made planes,” he said after the failed attempts at the dusty and parched Kambirwa airstrip.

He says he has never stepped inside an aeronautical engineering classroom but has trained himself using materials available on the Internet.

The manually controlled aircraft failed to pick speed and could not lift itself from the ground and stuck on the dusty air field.

But the remote controlled one did pick speed but crashed on two concrete poles and broke a propeller before it could fly.

A huge crowd of villagers and school children had gathered to witness the spectacle. Luckily, no one was injured in the crash.

“Today's tests were very successful compared to the ones I did here last year. We have seen a great improvement on take-off speed,” he said.

He is optimist that he is headed for success despite the crash.

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