?This Mech Engineering drop-out dreams: ?One day, Mr. President?ll fly in my aircraft?
From UBONG UKPONG, Abuja
Monday, August 09, 2010
Ilia Vincent Omaje, is a proud young Nigerian. He has built an aircraft that drives around on the roads but he is not contented because airplanes are meant to fly but his own cannot fly.
Omaje, who told Daily Sun in Abuja that he has been able to construct the aircraft to the present level based on the God-endowed knowledge, lamented that the failure of his airplane to fly follows from his inability to get sponsorship through necessary and relevant educational institutions. He said this would have placed him in the league of intellectuals that built aircraft and brought glory to their countries.
The 30-year-old Igala native from Kogi State, said he dropped out as a Mechanical Engineering student several years ago from the polytechnic in his state. Since then, it has been practically impossible for him to acquire a tertiary education that could help him to achieve his dream.
Recalling with sadness the circumstances under which his polytechnic education was aborted, Omaje said shortly after he lost his older brother who was his sole sponsor, he was stricken by poverty. This made it practically impossible for him to continue with the financially-demanding career. He told his story:
Destined to build aircraft
?I had such dream right from my early years. When I was in primary school, I used to do these things for my mates them as toys. I could do helicopter, jet any type. I would do it for them free of charge. I would just tell you go and bring aluminum pan, anything and I would do it for them to play. This was how I started. As I grew up, my father encouraged my elder brother to put me in the Polytechnic so that I can be strong in my project.?
?Why I am building this aircraft is that this country will know that we have talents but they don?t have people to sponsor. Since my brother died, I did not have anybody to sponsor me. I am trying to show that I can also do this and if I can be encouraged, I will do more than this because this is just a sample. If I go further in school my brain, everything will be opened and I will do more than this.
?What I am doing now is based on my limited knowledge. If I am given the opportunity to go to school to learn this, I will do my best. I believe in myself, I work with my talent, I use my brain. All these things you see here I have their designs in my house. I have nobody to sponsor me. If my brother had not died I would have gone far, even you wouldn?t have even met me here to interview me.
?I started building this aircraft in February 2009. What remains here now is to couple the body with pan and fix the engine. When I pan the body and fix the engine, I have knowledge of electronics, I have many electronic devices, which I can construct into this aircraft.
?I am equipped with knowledge, God is my master. I haven?t learnt this under anybody. What I do is that when I see anything I go through it to see how it woks and start constructing it. Government is just allowing me to waste away. They should come and take me because I am for good in this country. They will benefit and the generations of this country will also benefit from me. I will bring glory to this country.
?I just believe that they can?t kill my dream whether they help me or not. I am what I am and God had put that in me. When the time of God reaches, whether in this country or another country, God will send people who know my value to pick me up from here. I am tired of waiting and waiting for this country.?
?I have driven it, everybody here can bear me witness. The driving is not my problem. I didn?t make it to be driving, I made it to be a flying machine. I want my aircraft to fly and I need help, it?s just to finance me.
I have driven it up to Commerce Plaza and came back. I saw some MOPOL on the way they stopped me. They asked me if I were the one that did it I said yes. They saluted me and their OC was standing at their back, I saluted their OC too they said I should carry on. It was fun.
?If money can follow, I will go a long way. Let them just assist me or put me in the Air Force school, I will do my best there. I promise them I will be the first class student there. Some people like it and have been encouraging me. Some mock me and say when will this kind heavy something fly. They don?t believe that it can fly, they just keep laughing at me, but I am not discouraged. I have the courage to go forward. I don?t care about what they are saying because one day this my aircraft will fly. I believe that one day Mr. President will fly in this my aircraft.?
How I started
?I read the mechanical system of aircraft. I learnt that when a bird flies, it wants to reverse. The right wing would be up while the left wing would be down, which means it can turn to the other side. If it wants to reverse, the tail also gives the reverse proportion. I studied the birds and know I could build an aircraft.
?I first built the prototype I tested it and it went up.
The whole system was working but that one did not have the returning control so it flew away. It went up and never came back again. I used aluminum pan to build it. That was two years ago, my first aircraft flew away, it didn?t come back.
?I will be the one to control this one. This one is working perfectly but it is the control system that I lack. What I need now is the engine of this aircraft. This aircraft can fly even in this its skeletal form as it is now if there is a good engine inside it.
Why I am still single
?I am not married because I don?t want discouragement, my wife can also discourage me from this. The money I am putting into this is not a small amount of money. I am putting in a lot of money. Women, they cannot let such amount of money waste away without good results. I believe that when my dream comes through I will marry even if it is late. It doesn?t matter if I do not marry. What matters is that my dream comes true. It is not as if I will not marry but let this project go far such that even my wife will not be able to discourage me from doing it.?