Francis Tucker is a Sierra Leonean who, for over 20 years, has worked on a unique and challenging helicopter project.
It all started in 1992, when Tucker designed and built a battery-operated, remote-controlled glider from local materials. He nursed the idea of building a bigger machine that would fly for miles and be operated by a pilot.
Alongside his dream project, he made small, battery-operated toys of various types, which he sells to compliment his one-seater helicopter project.
Tucker uses local materials to do his work, and used a BMW police escort motorbike engine to power the one-seater helicopter. He’s confident that if or when he gets funds, he’ll be able to finish the project and fly the green, white and blue.
Questioned whether he has any formal training in aeronautic engineering, the young unassuming Tucker smiled and replied, “I have no formal training in aeronautics, but I’ve acquired formal technical training in mechanics, but if I am opportune to further training; I welcome the idea”.
Tucker said, “I want to encourage and train young people to be innovative with technology. Without science and technology, development will take time”.
The Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs has pledged support to Tucker’s helicopter project.