A Chinese farmer could not fly a plane, so he built one

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The full-scale replica of the Airbus A320 built by farmer Zhu Yue is now nearly finished. (AFP)
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Farmer Zhu Yue invested his savings of more than 2.6 million yuan ($374,000) into the project that began with a toy model of an Airbus 320. (AFP)
Updated 26 October 2018
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A Chinese farmer could not fly a plane, so he built one

  • The full-scale replica of the Airbus A320 built by farmer Zhu Yue is now nearly finished
  • ‘I hit midlife and realized I couldn’t buy one, but I could build one’

BEIJING: When a Chinese garlic farmer’s dream of flying an airplane 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 northeast 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 realized he may never be able to fly a plane.
“I hit midlife and realized I couldn’t buy one, but I could build one,” he said.
He has invested his savings of more than 2.6 million yuan ($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 tons of steel.
Five fellow aircraft enthusiasts-cum-laborers 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 homemade 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.


Chris Brown denies rape allegation

Chris Brown at an event last year. (AFP)
Updated 23 January 2019
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Chris Brown denies rape allegation

PARIS: Singer Chris Brown said on Tuesday that a rape allegation against him was false, a day after the French prosecutor’s office said that he had been arrested in Paris with two other suspects.

Brown, who is a US citizen, has been released from police custody as authorities were still investigating the case, the French prosecutor’s office added.

The arrests were first reported by Closer magazine, which said Brown, his bodyguard and a friend were detained after a 24-year-old woman alleged she was raped at the singer’s suite at the Mandarin Oriental hotel on the night of Jan. 15.

“I wanna make it perfectly clear ... This is false,” Brown said in a post on his Instagram account. “For my daughter and my family, this is so disrespectful and is against my character and morals.”