|A 39-year-old farmer obsessed with flying made his own dynamic delta-wing aircraft at home. What's surprising is that his recent test flight turned out to be a great success. (chinanews.com)|
A 39-year-old farmer obsessed with flying made his own dynamic delta-wing aircraft at home. What's surprising is that his recent test flight turned out to be a great success.
Tian Shaoqiang, a farmer from Linzhou, a county-level city in Central China's Henan Province, performed his test flight on September 13. With the help of relatives and neighbors, Tian transported the aircraft wings and body to a road near the village. After assembling and tuning up the aircraft, Tian turned on the engine. The aircraft quickly gained speed on the ground and then took off. After a stable 20-minute flight, the aircraft landed safely.
The plane has white canvas wings, an aluminum body and a powerful engine. The cockpit is complete with necessary instruments showing altitude and speed. Tian said that the aircraft can fly over 500 meters at a speed of 100 kilometers per hour. He added that the 30,000 yuan ($4,750) he paid for the imported engine and aluminum body was well worth it.
In January, Tian decided to build his own aircraft. Three failed planes were transformed into one, weighing as much as 200 kilograms. The aircraft is a combination of a helicopter and a fixed-wing airplane, which Tian calls a "rotaplane." After more than 20 trial flights, Tian finally cruised into the sky.
In March, one test flight ended in a crash landing. Tian lost 60,000 yuan and suffered injuries.
"Everyone has his own dream. Mine is to live my life to the fullest instead of wasting it. I know it is dangerous, but dangerous things are more challenging," said Tian, adding that nothing makes him feel more free than flying his own plane.
Jian's family didn't support his hobby at first. His father was especially worried about his safety.
"In the beginning, I didn't support him. If something were to happen to him, what would happen to his kids and wife?" said his father. "But it feels so good to see he made it. Everyone has his own dream. Man struggles upwards."
Tian does not plan to stop after this success. He wants to make a two-man aircraft so that he can bring his family and friends on flights. One day, he hopes to build a flying club so he can enjoy the pleasure of flying with those who share the interest.