According to the Times of India, London based Ashok Aliseril Thamarakshan, a native of Alappuzha in Kerala, has successfully constructed a four-seat aeroplane in a project that took nearly 18 months to complete. Now, Thamarakshan and his wife fly the UK and Europe in their home-built aircraft along with their two daughters.
They have travelled to a number of nations aboard their single-engine Sling TSi, which Thamarakshan has dubbed “G-Diya” in honour of his younger daughter Diya. The 38-year-old son of former MLA AV Thamarakshan is a mechanical engineer by trade. He relocated to the UK in 2006, and he and his wife, Abhilasha, are now living in London. The concept of creating an aircraft first occurred to Thamarakshan during the Covid-induced lockdown.
After receiving my pilot’s licence in 2018, I initially used to rent tiny two-seater aircraft for trips, he said, adding that as his family grew, two-seater aircrafts became redundant. Since four-seater planes are uncommon and difficult to find, Thamarakshan came up with the idea of building one himself after realising he would need one if he wanted to take his family with him on his trips.
In 2018, the Johannesburg-based Sling Aircraft firm would introduce the Sling TSI, a new aircraft, he added. Thamarakshan purchased a kit to construct his own plane during a visit to their factory. He had plenty of time to work on the time-consuming project because of the lockdown brought by the pandemic.
According to Abhilasha’s statement to The Sun, “We started accumulating money during the first lockdown and we knew we always wanted to have our own plane. In the first few months, we were saving a lot of money so we thought we would give it a go.” The project’s estimated cost in Indian rupees is Rs 1.8 crore. Thamarakshan finished the aircraft and conducted its initial flight in February of this year. The engineer, who is currently on vacation in Kerala, asserts that home-built aeroplanes are not an issue in Europe or the US.