George Mel, a 23-year-old man from Juba, South Sudan, dreamed his whole life of flying, but the death of his father meant that he had to leave school, as his family could no longer afford his tuition. With that, his potential career as a pilot was curtailed.
“I’ve had the desire to become an aeronautic engineer since I was young,” said Mel. “When I was still young I tried to fly. I got curtains and placed metal in to form wings, and got on topmost of the roof. I wanted to see if I would fly alike a bird, but I fell. I nearly broke my leg.”
Though his formal education had ended, Mel spent his time reading and teaching himself about aeronautics. “My brain was free to do a lot of exploration. I didn’t just sit down… I stuck to my dreams and I started doing them practically and exploring a lot,” he said.
Mel gathered as much scrap metal as he could and, in his garden, constructed his own small aircraft. Even as South Sudan descended into civil war, Mel kept building inside his compound while his neighbours took to the streets to fight. “I didn’t halt my project,” he said, “I kept on doing it in my exploration centre. I just sealed myself inside, and did my work.”
Comprised of an aluminium frame and two small petrol engines, Mel’s plane impressed South Sudan’s Air Force so much that they gave him a job in their IT department. Officials at the Air Force base have refused Mel permission to test-fly his creation.
Source: Moment Tools