Most of us are happy to try a spot of DIY but there aren’t many who would take on the challenge of building their own aircraft.

These unusual looking planes are the creations of amateur engineers in Africa who have made their own jets – often just using scarp metal, a book guide and a lot of improvisation.

Despite their lack of material, training and money, these determined aviation-enthusiasts have managed to build their own machines.

 
Handmade: Mubarak Abdullahi, 24, stands next to the helicopter he constructed in Kano in 2007

Handmade: Mubarak Abdullahi, 24, stands next to the helicopter he constructed in Kano, Nigeria, in 2007

 

 
Creative: Mubarak Muhammad Abdullahi, a 24-year-old physics undergraduate in northern Nigeria, used old cars and motorbikes to build his own helicopter in his back garden

Creative: Mubarak Muhammad Abdullahi, a 24-year-old physics undergraduate in northern Nigeria, used old cars and motorbikes to build his own helicopter in his back garden

Gabriel Nderitu’s aircraft, which he built in his front yard in Kenya, is powered by an engine which was once used to mill animal feed.

He sourced aluminum bars, bolts and plastic sheeting to make the frame – sticking it all together with some gum.

While Somaliland trio Mohamed Abdi Barkadle, Saed Abdi Jide and Abdi Farah Lidan, built a helicopter from an old van engine and scrap metal with no financial support in 2010.

They’d hoped to use the plane to fight fires but it is unclear whether their machine ever made it off the ground.

Farmhand Onesmus Mwangi managed to build a 25-kilogramme helicopter from scrap material he salvaged from around his village in Magomano.

According to the BBC, the 20-year-old dropped out of school at the age of 12 and has no training in aviation.

 
Starting out: Aminu Abubakar can be seen welding the skeleton of a his helicopter out of scrap metal in 2007

Starting out: Aminu Abubakar can be seen welding the skeleton of a his helicopter out of scrap metal in 2007

 

 
Opportunities: The homemade plane, which Abdullahi completed in 2007, earned him a scholarship to study aircraft maintenance in the UK

Opportunities: The homemade plane, which Abdullahi completed in 2007, earned him a scholarship to study aircraft maintenance in the UK

But, incredibly, Mwangi has managed to build a plane in just seven months, working around his full-time farming job.

It is not known whether it can actually fly – but Mwangi says he has managed to get it a full feet off the ground.

Mwangi said: ‘I built the helicopter to showcase my talent, hoping that people would invest in me and give me an opportunity to build bigger and better things‘.

But shortly after Mwangi unveiled his helicopter earlier this year, his employer fired him claiming the media attention was interfering with his work while police have banned him from flying it, claiming it is a security risk.

Emeka Okafor, curator of Maker Faire Africa – an annual pan-African event that showcases ingenuity and innovation, says aeronautical innovators in the developing world have fewer resources to bring their creations to life but just as much potential. 

 
Innovation: It may look like a car, but Abdullahi, pictured sitting in the front seat, used old car parts to make his own helicopter

Innovation: It may look like a car, but Abdullahi, pictured sitting in the front seat, used old car parts to make his own helicopter

 

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