Sunday, December 6, 2067
Considering Nigeria’s backwardness in technology as recently as the 2010s, no one could have thought the nation would be a major player in aircraft manufacturing today? During what historian refer to as greatest giant strides ever witness in human history, Nigeria moved from a nation that could barely produce tooth-picks to an aircraft manufacturing giant within 5 decades.
The global aircraft manufacturing industry was once dominated by nations that were hundreds of years ahead of Nigeria. But this gap began to get drastically closed up with Nigeria’s Buba Ibrahim’s invention in 2021.
For decades, the world was in search of new technologies to save as much lives as possible airplane passengers in the event of accidents, or avert accident occurrences altogether. This led to the introduction of Auto-avoid System that automatically veers the plane away from any obstruction; and the Uninterruptable Autopilot System that allows ground air-traffic controllers to take over control of the plane in case of hijack or sudden loss of cabin pressure that could render the crew and passengers unconscious.
Despite this inventions, the need to develop the technology to save lives in case of an inevitable crash remained imperative. The airplane parachute technology development has been on for, at least, 7 decades. It is such that when the aircraft emergency system senses a sharp dive or blast, the cabin is released (with all crew and passengers) and the parachute is launched to glide it to safety.
While headways were made in terms of the workability of the technology, the volume of passengers it could be used for were quite small. For every ten kilos of mass, a parachute needs more than 2 square meters of space to be effective. The challenge had always been how to design a parachute to take lesser amount of space when it is launched.
The solution was found in Ibrahim’s innovation. A chemical engineer, Ibrahim and his team (all Nigerians) invented a chemical composition that releases a body of compact air – that behave like a solid matter - to feel space above and around the parachute – with ten times quicker response time. The mass of the body of air released is dependent upon atmospheric pressure – instantaneous measured by a barometer affixed to the parachute. The parachute is attached to the body of air with an air surface suction. When faced with obstructions, like a “liquid air,” the body of air distinctly flows to areas of space at a controlled speed.
As the parachute slowly descends, the suction gradually gets detached until the parachute is able to glide without further support from the body of air.
Undoubtedly, the innovation has made Nigeria indispensable in the world of aviation. Not only did it attract huge investment to the nation, it put the nation on a pedestal of authority in global military jet design, production and maintenance. This is yet another area where Nigeria has good control. From patent, to materials, to the professionals, Nigeria nurtures and guards its invention smartly.
The nation’s advancement in aviation has become much more appreciated today with the increase in manufacturing of flying cars – which explains why there are over 20 automobile companies producing in Nigeria.
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