Saudi students' imagination gets wings

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Author: P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR | ARAB NEWS

Thursday 26 April 2012

JEDDAH: Four aeronautics-engineering students from King Abdulaziz University have presented the parts of a small aircraft they want to make at the Engineering Day and announced their plan to fly the first student-assembled aircraft in the Kingdom by February 2013.

"We have already made the design and structure of the aircraft and hopefully it will be ready for launch early next year. If we get the engine early we can complete the work this year," Abdullah Fahd Braik told Arab News.
"We are carrying out this project under the supervision and guidance of Dr. Mustafa Bourchak, who is a professor at KAU’s aeronautics department and a pilot by trade, and Adnan Khan, a research engineer," said Firas Khouj, a team member.
Asked what prompted his team to select the project, Braik said: “Many countries around the world now manufacture aircraft and this inspired us to produce the Kingdom’s first aircraft.” Braik, who wants to pursue for a Master’s degree in aeronautics, hoped the aircraft project would encourage other students to use their skills and engage in more constructive and challenging activities to enhance the Kingdom’s image. Emad Bedairy and Muhammad Bali, other team members, were equally excited and said their project would make history.
The aircraft project was the cynosure of the 7th Engineering Day being staged at KAU's King Faisal Convention Center and has won the admiration of KAU President Prof. Osama Tayeb and other faculty members.
The two-seater aircraft will have a total weight of 600 kg and be able to carry a load of 250 kg. The Zenith engine-powered aircraft is designed to fly at a speed of 200 km per hour. It will be seven-meter long with a wingspan of nine meters.
This innovative project is expected to bring about a revolution in the Kingdom’s aviation industry. Dr. Abdul Malik Al-Jinaidi, dean of the Faculty of Engineering, commended the students and faculty members behind the project.
“More than 19 companies participated in the engineering job fair and around 650 students attended job interviews conducted by various companies during the past two days," said Omar Bajawaiber, the team leader of the registration committee.
"The event was organized under the leadership of the engineering students and this would motivate them to become more focused in their studies and excel in their leadership skills," said Dr. Khalid Alghamdi, head of the Technical Language Support Unit. Students displayed many innovative projects during the event.

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