Feature: Cuban engineer builds experimental airplane

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 3, 2021
Adjust font size:

by Yosley Carrero

HAVANA, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Adolfo Rivera, a retired Cuban mechanical engineer living in Havana's Miramar district, has seen his dream of building a two-seater wooden airplane come true.

After several attempts since 1965, the 70-year-old decided to give it a new try despite difficulties to get some tools and airplane accessories amid the economic restrictions imposed by U.S. sanctions against the island.

In 2012, once he obtained permission from the country's aviation authorities, the aeronautical innovator started manufacturing a single-engine aircraft from his garage.

Although he has some experience flying airplanes, he relies on two younger pilots who are willing to take his flying machine to the sky.

"Of course, a man by himself cannot compete with global aircraft manufacturers," he said. "I could make a huge contribution for more local innovators to manufacture home-made aircraft."

With a maximum weight of 400 kilograms, Rivera's airplane prototype, in theory, could make a non-stop flight for two hours with a speed limit of 145 km/h.

It uses locally-produced or imported components, including a refurbished Rotax UL 582 engine donated by a local aviation club.

Aside from recreational purposes, the experimental aircraft aspires to help surveil sea borders and offer forest and environmental inspection services.

Miguel Angel Armas, president of the Cuban Air Sports Federation, said the new airplane has been built in keeping with international standards.

"It meets all technical requirements for the moment. By doing this, we demonstrate we can build airplanes on the island," he said. "We can contribute to saving money from imports."

The two-seater aircraft will be required to pass rigorous tests from the Cuban Institute of Civil Aeronautics to get flying and landing permission.

By the end of the year, the locally-made airplane is expected to make its first take-off attempt at the aerodrome of the Aviation Club of Cuba in Varadero, the country's seaside resort.

Asked about whether he would give up if the next attempt happens to fail, Rivera said there is no reason for pessimism.

"I have no doubt I will make it. I am a dreamer," he added, smiling. Enditem

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter