Kenya One: The Magnificent Flying Machine

The story of Maurice Gachamba and his airplane made of canvas and scrap, captured by Kenya's renowned photojournalist Mohamed 'Mo' Amin.

By Mohamed Amin Foundation

'Kenya One' (1969) by Mohamed AminMohamed Amin Foundation

The Magnificient Flying Machine 1
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Introducing ‘Kenya One’

Many do not know of Maurice Gachamba and his ‘Kenya One’. In 1969, Gachamba, a standard two school dropout, assembled an aeroplane that managed to take off. He called his creation 'Kenya One'.

'Kenya One' (1969) by Mohamed AminMohamed Amin Foundation

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It took Gachamba three years to build this aircraft made entirely of canvas and scrap. 

'Kenya One' (1969) by Mohamed AminMohamed Amin Foundation

“I was determined to fly...I towed the aircraft to Nyaribo airstrip using a motorcycle and I cruised well on the runway until the engine was ready to fly. I managed to turn back towards Nyaribo (airstrip) after flying for about nine miles. It was a frightening ordeal and I was shaking. I was convinced I would die and even vowed never to repeat it again." 
Maurice Gachamba

'Kenya One' (1969) by Mohamed AminMohamed Amin Foundation

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Showing it to President Jomo Kenyatta

Maurice Gachamba even regaled President Jomo Kenyatta with his Magnificent Flying Machine when he put it on display at The Nairobi Show.

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