When a Chinese garlic farmer’s childhood dream of being able to fly 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 small piece of tarmac surrounded by wheat fields in northeastern China.
Mr. 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 via Richmond News.
Mr. Zhu invested almost all of 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.
Based on photos found on the internet, he studied the dimensions. Though with some minor errors he was able to make the fuselage, wings, cockpit, engines and tail. In total, he used 60 tons of steel.
But he was not alone; as helping him were five fellow aircraft enthusiasts laborers to speed-up the project.
The homemade Airbus will not be flying any time soon. So Mr. 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.