Tanzania Unveils First Locally-Assembled Aircraft

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania | THE BLACK EXAMINER | Airplanes Africa Limited (AAL), an aircraft manufacturer based in Morogoro, has unveiled Tanzania’s first locally-assembled aircraft, the Skyleader 600. This unveiling took place at the Tanzania International Manufacturers Expo 2023 (TIMEXPO) at the Diamond Jubilee Hall in Dar es Salaam.

AAL’s director, David Grolig, explained that they chose to establish an ultralight aircraft manufacturing facility in Tanzania due to the country’s favorable investment environment and the population’s openness to new technologies and learning. The Skyleader 600 is designed for two passengers, including the pilot, making it suitable for business travelers on longer journeys.

Grolig mentioned that extensive research was conducted to understand the needs of business travelers who frequently undertake long-distance trips. In response to this research, AAL developed an aircraft to offer convenience for business travelers attending meetings and activities outside the region.

AAL is the first Tanzanian company to manufacture such aircraft with applications in both commercial and personal use. They also plan to launch the Skyleader 500 next year, an economical aircraft for agricultural and rural activities.

The company collaborates with a team of Tanzanian and Czech employees and provides employment opportunities for young Tanzanians, some of whom have the chance to intern in the Czech Republic. Grolig emphasized that these ultralight aircraft are affordable, with low operational and maintenance costs, making them a cost-effective option compared to general aviation airplanes. AAL intends to market these aircraft domestically and internationally.

AAL’s co-director, Igor Stratil, highlighted the collaborative work of a joint Tanzanian and Czech team in creating the first aircraft. Their teamwork was also demonstrated during the exhibition, where they efficiently prepared the aircraft for transport.

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The directors found their participation in the exhibition very beneficial and fulfilling. The event was officially opened by the Minister of Education, Science, and Technology, Professor Adolf Mkenda, and featured 138 participants with over 1,000 daily visitors. The Regional Commissioner of Dar es Salaam, Mr. Albert Chalamila, and various government officials were among the attendees who closed the event.

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