A Chinese farmer couldn't fly a plane, so he built one

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!


BEIJING, China (AFP) — When a Chinese garlic farmer's dream of flying an aeroplane didn't pan out, he decided to build one instead.

The full-scale replica of the Airbus A320, built by farmer Zhu Yue, is now nearly finished, permanently taxied on a short piece of tarmac surrounded by wheat fields in north-east China.

Zhu didn't finish middle school, and started out farming onions and garlic before moving on to welding work in a factory in the small city of Kaiyuan.

Last year he realised he may never be able to fly a plane.

“I hit midlife and realised I couldn't buy one, but I could build one,” he told AFP.

He has invested his savings of more than 2.6 million yuan (US$374,000) into the project that began with a toy model of an Airbus 320 shrunken to one-eightieth its original size.

With that he measured dimensions, studied online photos, and with a heap of mistakes, crafted the fuselage, wings, cockpit, engines, and tail. He used 60 tonnes of steel.

Five fellow aircraft enthusiasts-cum-labourers have helped speed the project along.

“On the one hand, they're earning money, on the other they're fulfilling dreams, accomplishing things,” Zhu said.

The home-made Airbus will not be flying any time soon. Zhu has decided to turn it into a diner.

The plane's latest additions are a self-made cockpit outfitted with replica flight instruments and a stair car for getting aboard.

“We will put down a red carpet so every person who comes to eat will feel like a head of state,” Zhu said.

On board the A320's customary 156 seats have been turned into 36 first-class chairs for customers, Zhu said.

He is not yet sure if he will serve hamburgers and French fries or regular Chinese food that the locals may prefer.

Parked not far from the interstate, Zhu is hopeful the plane will soon fill up with hungry passengers.

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT