Indian man cashes in on coronavirus lockdown, builds four-seater aircraft
While the world was locked indoors during the pandemic, UK-based Indian mechanical engineer, Ashok Aliseril Thamarakshan made the best use of his time and built an airplane.
Thamarakshan, 38, who is also a private pilot, dreamt of engineering a personal aircraft to take his family on trips and feared flying rental planes which he said are usually old and unsafe to fly.
The mechanical engineer who works for Ford Motor Company in Essex said he had initially planned to order an aircraft kit and build it with his colleagues in his home but the 2020 lockdown left him with no choice but to complete it on his own.
"There was a plan that some of my work colleagues will help out with the build but in the end, because of lockdown that couldn't happen and I ended up doing most of the work myself," Thamarakshan said.
Named after his youngest daughter Diya, the metallic red-coloured 'G-Diya' can carry up to four people including the pilot and reach about 250 km (155 miles) in an hour.
After getting clearance to fly, Thamarakshan flew across four European countries with his friends and has also gone on a trip with his family of four.
"The aircraft is just purely for recreational purposes. So it is purely…there was no commercial incentive or I didn't do it for that sort of purpose," Thamarakshan said.
Thamarakshan built his aircraft at a cost of $225,790.