Kenyan Man Builds Airplane In Yard Based Mostly On Wikipedia Entries

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When we use the online encyclopedia, we risk getting something wrong. When Gabriel Nderitu uses it, he risks crashing his homemade plane.

But for over a year, Nderitu has been constructing an aircraft in his front yard on the outskirts of Nairobi. He has become something of a local celebrity in Kenya by piecing it together in his spare time on the weekends with the help of five other men, Wikipedia, and a 40-liter Toyota engine. He is not an engineer and has no aviation background, only a passion for flight and the ability to download about 2 GB of information online.

Earlier this month, Nderitu said a test run was planned within days, but he’s hit a few snags recently. For one, the country’s civil aviation officials served Nderitu with a letter last week ordering him to “refrain from further construction or development.” That was after the plane’s rear landing gear collapsed. And judging by the video, it appears the craft’s front wheel could use some stabilizing. But NewsFeed is on edge about what’s next and will keep tabs on the ambitious Kenyan as he prepares for his maiden voyage. “In two months we’ll be ready,” he told The Guardian. “Pray for us.” Indeed, Gabriel, we will.

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