Indian Homebuilder Hopes To Launch Industry


An Indian airline captain and self-taughtaircraft designer who built an aircraft on the roof of a commercial building has reportedly parlayed the project into an industry. The Indian state of Maharashtra has reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding with 41-year-old Jet Airways Capt. Amol Yadav to turn his rooftop homebuilt into a 1,300-aircraft megaproject. Yadav, who has no engineering or manufacturing background, has been handed about $6 million to build two prototypes of a 19-seat commuter aircraft as the first step in the grandiose scheme. The wooden frame of the prototype is taking shape on the roof of his house. His first creation, a six-place single powered by an automotive V-8, has yet to fly.

Yadav, a self-described hobbyist, told BloombergQuint his lack of practical experience in the aerospace industry is no hindrance. “I wouldn’t say an official engineering background is required for this,” he said as workers assembled the wood structure of the commuter aircraft on the roof. “What you need is willpower.” Money helps too and the deal involves building two prototypes to launch Thrust Aircraft Company. The goal is to eventually hire 10,000 people to build 1,300 aircraft at a factory on 157 acres in Palghar, about 90 miles north of Mumbai. Meanwhile, Indian civil aviation officials have demanded modifications to his homebuilt before they’ll give it a flight permit. “We have imported the material required,” Yadav said. “Hopefully, by the end of this month or next month, it will be ready to fly.”