45 years old peasant invests 100,000 to realize the dream of flying his own aircraft

| May 13th, 2010


Last August, Key reported about a home-made aircraft case where a Chinese photographer spent 100,000 yuan to turned his airplane drawing into real thing and made it to 400 meter high in the sky for 25 minutes before it landed safely. This May, a 45 years old  peasant also tried to fly his home-made aircraft up.  Shu Mansheng, a  peasant from Wuhan Hubei Province, used to sat under a tree looking up into the sky and fantasized himself flying like a free bird when he’s little, he’s determined to make himself an aircraft one day. He finally gets to taste his dream, though it’s only for a few seconds. Guess how much he spent? 100,000 yuan.

Shu has invested about 100,000 yuan into making his own aircraft using the techniques he learned from his job and the Internet.  His model is designed to fly 2 km above the ground at 100 km/hr with a capacity of 2 adults under 70 kg. On May 10th, he took off for the third trial only to crash a few seconds later.

After middle school, Shu returned home for farming after which he learned to repair electronics. About a decade ago, he approached his dream bit by bit by becoming a automobile mechanic and acquainting himself with electronic circuit as well as machinery building. Things went on pretty well with him as a big development project carried out in his area and he got well compensated from demolition. Now he is a landlord of 4 apartments with couples of thousands income on the monthly lease. So Shu quitted his job and focus on building his plane.


He turned a idle work shed into his workshop where put up 3 models. The first model took him half a month in last October, it failed for short of power due to its single engine and single propeller combination. Then he started to build another one but quitted it halfway because he found it’s horribly over-weighted and he’s not skilled enough to produce the right body and wing parts.


This April he set off to make the third model which is equipped with double engines double propellers.  The body and wings framework are welded by stainless steel pipes, covered with red nylon cloth. On each side of the 7 meter wing there is a two-stroke motorcycle gasoline engine to power each propeller. The  aircraft is 4.4 m long, 1.5 m high and net-weigh 70 kg.  Shu supposes that  it can  fly 2 km above the ground at 100 km/h with a capacity of 2 adults under 70 kg.

The work took him half a month only. But its debut flight failed before it could make it off the ground thanks to a flat tire during the fly-up.

The second trail was carried out soon after he fixed the tire. This time things were better. The aircraft did a 100 meter or so fly-up and climbed  to 6 m above ground and flew about 30 m far before it crashed. Shu explained that he lost the accelerator too early. Both the propellers and the landing gear are broken on that account. Shu has been hoping to do overturn and hover in this trail, now he realized that there were plenty of improvements to make on the control stick, the aileron, the tail, the engine etc.

And the third trail wasn’t any better. On May 10th, Shu carried the aircraft out along with his supportive mother. About noon, Shu took off regardless of warnings from officials of general administration of civil aviation of China. The aircraft ran and sprinted to pick up 1 meter from the ground, it lasted 2 seconds and dived, and up again to 5 meters above for about 5 seconds, went down and picked up again, this time the aircraft leaned to the left at about 3 meter high and crashed into the grass in the end.


Propellers are out, some stainless tubes on the framework are broken and Shu was injured a bit. He said he’s a bit nervous and won’t consider building another aircraft before long.


Officials said that only those with pilot license and qualified for flying should fly, and that Shu’s trial is against the regulation if he try again his aircraft will be taken away. (Source from Yangzhou Evening Paper and sina)

11 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. Eason says:

    Poor guy, somebody should buy and send him an ultra-light kit. Probably costs less than 100,000 RMB!

  2. GuoBao says:

    The grammar is pretty bad in this article but well,,,. I don’t think it should be the government’s business if Average Wang wants to build a flying machine. “Yes,, you two Wright brothers!! Put the wrench down and step away from the aeroplane.”

  3. Eason says:

    He can build it but not fly it, same as American laws about flying airplanes without proper safety and knowledge.

  4. Vonskippy says:

    Wow, China should hire that guy for their copycat space program.

  5. Wang Er says:

    I admire Shu’s can-do spirit as an engineer but if he wants it to fly to 2km in 100kmh the machine needs further careful design not only in aerodynamics but also in safety and reliability. Every major part needs a backup plan. Also he has to obtain a license to fly the craft (probably with proof of safety), and of course as a common sense to avoid dense populated area and airports. Good luck to Shu and more importantly, be safe!

  6. John says:

    I agree with Eason. This dude needs an ultralight.

  7. revcletis says:

    Unbalanced thrust from the engines caused to the plane to yaw to the left, causing the spin and resulting crash. Propeller wash over the wings also caused instability in flight. The design would have worked much better with a larger prop/ single engine in the rear of fuselage “pushing” the craft instead. Nice try though.

  8. King Tubby says:

    Leave out the engineering advice. Dont deny the guy his dream. If there were more people like Shu in China. …..

    Hush Team. You guys put up some very good pieces, but your translation stinks sometimes.

    • revcletis says:

      I’m not denying anybody anything here. Dreams tend to work better when the dreamer is alive to see it realized. My man Shu did just that. He wanted to fly, and he did for a short while. He lived. He actually flew farther than the Wright Brothers did in on their 1st flight Kitty Hawk, NC. They had dreams too. But they were also realists. If One should notice that the Wright brothers used a proven “push prop design ” for their first plane. But hey, what do I know ? They were just owners of a bicycle shop with a *dream*. Go figure…

  9. Neirda says:

    Completely agree with my neighbor above, China needs more people like him, with dreams other than money.

  10. Vrod says:

    We need more people like him, inventing . breaking the mold. It goes to show you how held back we are because of our education system. Evolve with with new generation.

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