Air travel is one of the greatest achievements of humankind. It took years of research and innovation to enable people to take flights to reach their destinations. An aircraft is an engineering marvel that usually takes several man years and collective experience and expertise to build.

Ashok Aliseril Thamarakshan, a resident of Alappuzha in Kerala, has achieved something that is unfathomable to most people. Ashok, a mechanical engineer, has built a four-seater aircraft and has been taking his family on holidays across the UK. The Malayali who is settled in London took nearly 18 months to build the aircraft model ‘Sling TSI’ which he named ‘G-Diya’. The aircraft has been named after his younger daughter Diya.

Ashok, son of former MLA AV Thamarakshan, in an interview with Asianet said that he was inspired to build his own aircraft while staying indoors during the pandemic. After obtaining a degree in automobile engineering from the UK, Ashok went on to work with Honda and later Ford. The Covid-19 pandemic broke out after Ashok earned his pilot’s license.

Ashok was inspired to build his own aircraft after being confined indoors during the lockdowns. Acting on the idea, Ashok later sourced materials and equipment from various countries to build his aircraft.

“I haven’t really studied aircraft manufacturing. They are usually obtained in the form of a kit which can be assembled by amature manufacturers. Those doing it for the first time need to do a lot of research before building the aircraft. There are resources available on YouTube, and one would be required to find out more information while developing the aircraft,” Ashok was quoted as saying by the Malayalam channel

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Ashok began building the aircraft in May 2019 and it was completed in November 2021. (Image: Facebook)

Ashok began building the aircraft in May 2019 and it was completed in November 2021. The Kerala youth took several test flights for three months to get the license from the British Civil Aviation Authority. He took his first flight with his family in February this year. Apart from the UK, the family has traveled to Germany, Austria, and Czech Republic.

He and his family saved every penny to build the aircraft. His wife Abhilasha said that they saved everything that they were earning to support their dream. She said all their earnings went into acquiring the equipment that were required for the aircraft.

The engineer from Kerala moved to the UK in 2006 for his masters degree after completing BTech from Palakkad Engineering College.