What you need to know:
- The Skyleader 600 is designed to accommodate two passengers, including the pilot, and is ideal for business travelers on longer journeys.
Dar es Salaam. Airplanes Africa Limited (AAL), a Morogoro-based aircraft manufacturer, has unveiled the first aircraft assembled in Tanzania.
The aircraft, Skyleader 600, was unveiled at the Tanzania International Manufacturers Expo 2023 (TIMEXPO), held at the Diamond Jubilee Hall in Dar es Salaam.
AAL director David Grolig said the company decided to set up an ultralight aircraft manufacturing facility in Tanzania due to the country's favourable investment climate and people's willingness to adapt new technologies and learn new things.
The Skyleader 600 is designed to accommodate two passengers, including the pilot, and is ideal for business travelers on longer journeys.
"We conducted thorough research to understand the requirements of business travelers who frequently undertake long-distance trips," Grolig said.
"In response to the research, we decided to present an aircraft that would enable businesspeople to travel more conveniently and attend various meetings outside the region before returning to the city for other activities."
AAL is the first company in Tanzania to manufacture such aircraft, which have both commercial and personal applications.
Next year, the company will also launch the Skyleader 500, an economic aircraft for agricultural use and other related activities in rural areas.
Grolig said the company is working with a team of Tanzanian and Czech employees to manufacture the aircraft and has also provided employment opportunities for young Tanzanians. Some of these employees have even been selected for internships in the Czech Republic.
Grolig emphasized that these ultralight aircraft are affordable, similar to owning a car. They also have low operational costs, use petrol, and have low maintenance costs, which makes them more economical than general aviation airplanes. In addition to selling domestically, AAL also plans to market the aircraft in other countries.
AAL co-director Igor Stratil said the first aircraft is a result of the intensive and harmonious work of a joint Tanzanian and Czech team.
The harmony of the multinational team was also seen at the exhibition, where the team demonstrated how the aircraft can be harmonically prepared for transport in a very short time.
The directors also evaluated their participation in the exhibition as very useful. The aim of presenting their work was fulfilled.
The exhibition was officially opened by the Minister of Education, Science, and Technology, Professor Adolf Mkenda, and featured a total of 138 participants, with over 1,000 visitors daily. Among the attendees was the Regional Commissioner of Dar es Salaam, Mr Albert Chalamila, who closed the event along with various government officials.