By Ibrahim HassanWuyo
The Nigerian Air Force, NAF, has flown to Kaduna the youths from Kwara state who produced an aircraft, where the Chief of the Air Staff, CAS, assured of their readiness to help develop local talents.
Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar has said during the facility tour that as stakeholder in the Nigerian aviation industry, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has always encouraged local talent in science and technology, especially in aviation-related innovation.
According to him, the decision was espoused in two of the key drivers of his Vision; reinforcing a culture of self-reliance and prudent management of resources and strategic partnership with MDAs for enhanced Research and Development (R&D).
The Air boss who spoke after leading the 4 young talented secondary School boys from Kwara who produced an aircraft, said NAF would encourage them and see how best their potentials could be harnessed.
The CAS was represented by the Chief of Standard and Evaluation, Air Vice Marshal Remigus Ekeh.
CAS said the NAF has on many occasions in the past, identified gifted individuals and facilitated the harnessing of their talent for increased capacity and the betterment of the Nigerian society at large.
Accordingly, the uncommon passion and efforts of Mr. Musa Aliyu, Mr. Abdulateef Anafi, Mr. Abbas Jamiu and Mr Jimoh Ahmed towards developing an aircraft at Ilorin, as featured recently in the media, caught the attention of the CAS.
“The NAF therefore invited these talented youths to encourage them and see how best their potentials can be harnessed.”
“The young boys were airlifted from Ilorin to Kaduna and hosted at the NAF Base, where the NAF has its R&D Centre as well as some of its Engineering and Flying training institutions.”
“The intention was to expose the gentlemen to aircraft engineering, aircraft R&D and aircraft operations. By this, they will have a good conception of how an aircraft is designed, manufactured and operated.”
During the tour, they illorin based talents were taken to the Air Force Research and Development Centre (AFRDC), where they were shown the processes involved in R&D as it relates to both manned and unmanned aircraft.
While at AFRDC, they had the opportunity to interact with Aerospace Engineers and other Specialists, who are involved in some of the NAF’s R&D efforts.
Additionally, they were given briefs on what needs to be studied in order to be maintenance or design engineers for aircraft systems at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT).
They were also taken to the 401 Flying Training School and 431 Engineering Group, where they were shown the basic mechanisms of aircraft flying as well as its components, maintenance and repairs.
“With the experience of the tour and exposure, the young men are now better prepared towards making decisions about their future and the NAF is willing, able and ready to assist them as may be required”
One of the youths , Musa Aliyu said it took them three years to assemble the aircraft.
“Even though though we are Secondary School Leavers, we hope with the opportunity given by the NAF, we will be able to continue our education,” he said.
“We have been building the remote control aircrafts, but we realized that there are a lot of people building remote control aircrafts, so we took it upon ourselves to build a bigger aircraft that is the high wing aircraft to show Nigerian’s what we can do,” he said.
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