The Emirates Engineering Team with their RV 12 - the result of thousands of hours of dedication by a group of trainees. Image Credit: Courtesy: Emirates airline

Dubai: They normally spend billions on buying planes, but now they’ve made one for themselves.

Emirates has unveiled a light sport propeller aircraft built by a group of its engineering trainees in their spare time.

The thousands of hours needed to assemble the 11,000 parts have proven invaluable for the 40 students, exposing them to the attention to detail needed in plane building.

“Constructing this aircraft from scratch is a tremendous achievement for our trainees whose knowledge and hands on technical experience have now been significantly enhanced,” said Adel Al Redha, Emirates Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer.

The two-seater RV 12 is six metres long, has a top speed of 217kph and a range of 900km, meaning it could fly to Qatar capital Doha, Salalah in Oman or Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.

“The trainees’ first task was to unpack the crates, check the components against the inventory and create a storage system where items could be easily retrieved,” Al Redha said.

“The canopy and rear window proved to be a huge challenge as the thermoplastic glass had to be drilled without cracking. This required extreme patience and was fortunately completed without any mishaps.”

The aircraft will be used to promote Emirates’ UAE National training programmes. It will also be on display at the Dubai Air Show, which starts next Sunday at Al Maktoum International, Dubai World Central.