ADDIS ABABA, SUNDAY
Since childhood, Ethiopian Asmelash Zeferu has dreamed to become a pilot.
Decades later, although not a pilot, the 35-year-old built his own plane.
The aircraft with a two-seat cockpit was made from pieces of material including wood, metal, and aluminum.
Born in Tigray region, northern Ethiopia, Asmelash has named the aircraft K-570A.
K stands for the initial of his mother’s name, Kiros Wolde-Michael; 570 refers to the days taken to build the aircraft; and A is for aircraft.
Asmelash made his first test flight with his-own-invented plane in June this year, but didn’t succeed.
He plans to make his “final test flight” on an open grass field beside his home within a few weeks, saying he would fly the plane 10 meters high above the ground.
Asmelash has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chinese telecom company ZTE, which pledged support to Asmelash’s activities through a sponsorship package scheme.
‘‘I gladly acknowledge his creativity and positive impact that contributes to initiating and triggering the minds of other fellow Ethiopians in terms of innovation of advanced technologies in the future,” said Zhang Jintao, Deputy CEO of ZTE Ethiopia.