At the time when most people were chilling on Netflix, brewing dalgona coffee, baking banana bread, and playing PUB-G, one individual was working on something splendid and out of the box.
What took years of research and innovation for mankind, took Ashok Aliseril Thamarakshan just less than 3 years. Yes, you read it right! This mechanical engineer built a four-seater aircraft, G-Diya, based on his daughter’s name Diya in just 18 months. The resident of Alappuzha in Kerala made this aircraft to take his family on holidays.
He says he was inspired to make his own aircraft while staying indoors during the pandemic. He had earlier worked with companies such as Hondo and Ford, after obtaining a degree in automobile engineering from the UK. He earned his pilot’s license just before Covid-19 pandemic broke out.
He was motivated to build his own airplane after being restricted to four walls during the lockdown. For the execution of the idea, Ashok took materials and equipment from various countries.
Ashok said to the Malayalam channel that he had not really studied aircraft manufacturing. He says the information was obtained in akit that can be assembled by amateur manufacturers. He further added that one needs to undertake a lot of research before building the aircraft, for which resources are available on Youtube.
Ashok, who started building the aircraft in May 2019, took his first flight with his family in February. The family has traveled to the UK, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. He also had to take several test flights for three months to get his license from the British Civil Aviation Authority.
Ashok had always been impressed by airplanes since childhood. He was interested in buying an aircraft, but he realized it was too expensive. It would cost him between Rs 5 -6 crore. So, he decided to build it instead.
Ashok along with his family, saved every bit to build his aircraft. His wife Abhilasha said they saved all their earnings to buy equipment for the aircraft.