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Locally-made plane set for test-flight, KWASU VC says

By Odun Edward, Ilorin
10 December 2021   |   3:57 am
Kwara State University (KWASU) Vice Chancellor (VC), Prof. Mohammed Akanbi, has disclosed that a light aircraft designed by two students of the institution is due for a test flight next year.

Kwara State University (KWASU) Vice Chancellor (VC), Prof. Mohammed Akanbi, has disclosed that a light aircraft designed by two students of the institution is due for a test flight next year.

Akanbi said the state-owned College of Aviation, Ilorin, was giving attention to the innovation ahead of the test-run in the first quarter of 2022.

The VC, at a pre-convocation briefing of the university recently, said the one-seater turbo propeller engine aircraft was set to attain an altitude of 13,000ft at 220 km/h speed, but “these disclosures would only materialise if necessary funds would be made available.”

Akanbi said: “Our university is setting the pace in aircraft engineering in Nigeria. Two students, Abdulzahir Okinobanyi Usman and Israel Oluwagbemi Adeniyan, under the supervision of Prof. AbdulGaniyu Alabi, designed and constructed a light aircraft.

“The one-seater turbo propeller engine aircraft is set to attain an altitude of 13,000 ft at 220 km/h speed. The light aircraft, which is the first of its kind in the University, will soon be ready for a test flight,” he said.

While considering that post-impact fire is a major cause of death in the event of an air crash, Akanbi said a staff of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology of the institution, Abdulbaqi Jinadu, and his supervisees, Ayodeji Akangbe Tunde and Haleem Olamide Olatinwo, are already at the zenith of their research on the way to contaminate aviation fuel to prevent fire outbreak in the event of an air crash.

He added: “In-depth research revealed a mixing ratio that successfully increased the flash and fire points of aviation fuel to reduce its ability to burn and thereby facilitate the rescue of passengers.”

It would be recalled that Jinadu and another set of his supervisees, Kayode Samuel Olagunju, Abdulhafeez Owoyemi Salisu and Oluwaseun Aderugbemi Adeniyi, had re-modelled the mid-section of the Boeing 737 fuselage that houses the main fuel tank in a way that reduces any explosion in the event of a crash.

The University is combining its 8th and 9th Convocation ceremonies for the graduating sets of 2019/2020 and 2020/2021.

The Vice Chancellor said all the ceremonies, including the conferment of Honourary Degrees on the First Lady of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari; Prof. Agboola Gambari, Dr Johnson Bamidele Adewumi, among others, would be conducted in hybrid mode due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

Only First Class, a few Second Class Upper graduands and Prize Winners will be allowed into the University’s mini convocation arena for the conferment of first degrees today Friday December 10, 2021.

In total, KWASU will be graduating 6,620 students at the Convocation, 3,864 for the year 2019/2020 session and 2,756 for the 2020/2021 session.