Keralite is building a four-seater aircraft in the UK | News from Thiruvananthapuram

KOTTAYAM: A Keralite travels with his family in his home-built plane in the UK. Ashok Aliseril Thamarakshannative Alappuzhasuccessfully built a four-seater plane to take on holiday with his family all over the UK.
It took the London-based mechanical engineer nearly 18 months to build the ‘Sling TSI’ model plane named ‘G-Diya’, Diya being his youngest daughter. Ashok is the son of former MP AV Thamarakshan. He moved to UK in 2006 for his Masters after completing BTech from Palakkad College of Engineering.
The idea of ​​a private jet struck him during the Covid-induced lockdown.

“I originally rented small two-seater planes for travel after getting my pilot’s license in 2018. But as my family includes my wife and two daughters, I needed four-seater planes. But they are rare and even though I could get First, they were very old. It made me explore options and learn more about homebuilt planes,” said Thamarakshan, who works for Ford Motor Company.
“I heard of a company based in Johannesburg sling plane launching a new aircraft named Sling TSI in 2018,” he said.
Thamarakshan visited the company to learn more about the aircraft and ordered a kit. He set up a workshop within the grounds of his house and began to work. Construction was periodically overseen by UK civil aviation authorities, he said.
“Home-built planes are not new to the UK as there are companies that supply assembly kits,” Thamarakshan said.
Since assembling an airplane takes a long time, only retirees try their hand at home-built planes, he said. The lockdown period gave him plenty of time to achieve his goal and he completed the plane in February and quickly took his first flight.
The total cost of the plane was around 1.8 crore in Indian rupees. The small plane has a maximum speed of 200 km/h and needs 20 liters of fuel per hour. The fuel tank capacity is 180 liters.
Thamarakshan has traveled to many places in the UK with his family and to other European countries like Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic with friends. Traveling in homemade planes in Europe or the United States is no problem, he said.
He hopes laws will become favorable to homebuilt aircraft in India, where he says there are few companies supplying kits for its assembly. Currently, Thamarakshan, his wife Abhilasha, and daughters Thara and Diya are vacationing in his native Alappuzha.


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Edward L. Robinett