Locally engineered marvel: Shahabuddin’s “water helicopter” | The Daily Star
09:16 PM, August 07, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:21 PM, August 07, 2020

Locally engineered marvel: Shahabuddin’s “water helicopter”

Shahabuddin, an automobile mechanic hailing from Kutubdia island of Cox's Bazar, has built a "watercraft" that can tread the sea at a speed of about 110 km/h.

"Since I could not find any good quality propellers in the country, I can only drive it at 75-80 km/h speed," Shahabuddin told The Daily Star.

He hopes to inaugurate the watercraft soon, giving it a name as per the choice of local people, and take it out to sea with the permission of concerned authorities.

"The locals call it 'Water Helicopter' -- we will decide the name once its construction is complete and it is ready for inauguration," he said, adding that over 80 percent of the construction work is completed for the watercraft.

Shahabuddin stressed that his watercraft, which has a Toyota engine, will be able to tread the waters even during bad weather.

"Even huge waves and choppy waters will not be a barrier for it to run," he said.

After completing his primary education, Shahabuddin took training as a mechanic and then went to Saudi Arabia in 2003, where he worked at an automobile repairing workshop.

Later, he launched his own workshop there, before returning to Bangladesh with a vision to do something of his own here.

"While in Saudi Arabia, I worked under a Lebanese aeronautical engineer for two years. During that time, I worked on aircraft engines. I did not continue in that job since the pay was less, and later I returned home," Shahabuddin said.

"While working there, I used to think about making something that could fly," he said.   

Shahabuddin said he wants to build the watercraft so that it could fly too, but that would require very advanced equipment, including engines and propellers which are not available here.

"I planned on making the watercraft about five years back. Last year in July I returned to Bangladesh and launched a workshop in Kutubdia to repair trawlers and cars. But I had to close it after a while due to lack of trained workers. Then I began working on my watercraft," he said.

The watercraft, for now, will run like a speedboat, using diesel as fuel. It will also have a wing on each side that will move the machine forward by harnessing the power of wind.

"If one engages in any practical work, that person will come up with many such ideas in the same way I did with the watercraft," Shahabuddin added.    



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