Fearless Chinese Farmer Builds Dubious "Working" Helicopter Using Wood, Massive Cojones

Illustration for article titled Fearless Chinese Farmer Builds Dubious "Working" Helicopter Using Wood, Massive Cojones

When mere mortal men gaze upon the playground jungle gym, they see the unhinged tomfoolery of their youth. When Chinese farmer Wu Zhongyuan sees one he says, "I can make that fly." Updated

And he did, to an incredibly impressive 2,600 feet before Chinese authorities grounded him for "safety reasons."

The rig, comprised of metal bars, a motorcycle engine and wooden rotors, cost him a mere $1,600. He has no formal aviation training, but still managed to assemble the rickety beast using a recollection of middle school physics courses and "relevant knowledge [found while] surfing the Internet via my mobile phone." As a blogger, I can relate.

Update: Correct, fair commenters. In the original article it's stressed he "claimed" an altitude of 2,600 feet. Shenanigans until we see a video, I agree.


Update 2: More credibility: Apparently Chinese farmers make homemade helicopters all the time! [Ananova via DVICE]

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This thing can't fly. There are no control surfaces for turning. On a real helicopter, the main rotor blades have little linkages near the main turbine that allow the pilot to tilt the blades. Real helicopters also have the ability to title the whole main shaft and blades forward and backwards.

That's how real helicopters move forward, backwards, left and right. Notice all of that is missing from this thing.

If he did even get off the ground, and managed to power the rear rotor enough to keep the vehicle from spinning wildly out of control, he'd have no way to control the path of his flight. He'd literally be at the mercy of the wind.