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A very unusual homebuilt.

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A very unusual homebuilt.

Old 3rd Jun 2017, 14:49
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A very unusual homebuilt.

Top marks for ambition but I don't think I want to fly in it.
This story from BBC World.

For three years, car mechanic Paen Long stayed up long after his wife went to bed each night, spending countless hours watching videos on YouTube.
But these weren't the viral clips or pop music videos that most people while away hours on. Mr Long, who lives on the side of a highway in Cambodia's rural south-east, had a singular obsession: aeroplanes.
"In the beginning, I typed in the word 'jet'," he says. From there, he was led to videos that showed planes taking off and landing, flight simulations, and virtual tours of factories that produce aircraft.
One of six children of rice farmers, Mr Long grew up in the years when Cambodia was struggling to recover from the devastation caused by the Khmer Rouge and had never been in an aircraft of any kind.
After seeing a helicopter when he was about six years old, he says, the urge to fly preoccupied his mind - for decades. "I always dreamt about aircraft every night. I always wanted to have my own plane," he says.
At first, it remained nothing more than a dream. Mr Long dropped out of school early and trained as a mechanic, one of the few non-farming professions available to young men without a high school education in his home province of Svay Rieng.
By last year his fascination with flight had taken over and Mr Long, now aged 30 and running his own garage in neighbouring Prey Veng province, decided he had saved enough money to realise his childhood fantasy.
"I started building a plane, making it in secret," he says. "I was afraid that people would make fun of me, so sometimes I worked at night."
Believing that a helicopter would be more complex to re-create than a plane, Mr Long based his design on a Japanese plane used in WWII. The one-seater aircraft, which has a wing span of 5.5m, took Mr Long almost a year to produce entirely from scratch out of mostly recycled materials.
The pilot's seat is a plastic chair with chopped-off legs, the control panel a car dashboard, and the body made from an old gas container.

The moment of truth came on 8 March. Just before 15:00, Mr Long started the plane's engine. Three people helped to push it to his "runway": a nearby dirt road leading off the main artery toward rice paddy fields.
According to villagers, about 200 to 300 people (Mr Long generously estimates the crowd size to be around 2,000) turned out to watch their first local aviator in action.
He strapped on a motorbike helmet - his only safety precaution - and sat inside the cockpit. The plane gained speed as he approached take-off before briefly lifting into the air - Mr Long says he reached a height of 50 metres - and crashing unceremoniously to the ground.
The sound of laughter greeted him on his return to Earth. "I was standing there and tears came down [my cheeks]. I felt emotional, because I couldn't bear all the things they were saying to me," he says, blaming the failure on the 500kg weight of his machine.
The setback made him more determined than ever to succeed, and he soon turned his attention to a new project. Now, he is building a seaplane - also largely from scrap materials - which he believes he can make light enough to take to the skies.

source The man who built his plane using YouTube videos - BBC News
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Old 3rd Jun 2017, 16:07
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That looks incredibly dangerous...

...he's not wearing a hi-viz jacket.
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Old 3rd Jun 2017, 17:18
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I don't want to kill his stride, but the article stated that he had spend over $10,000 on his first try.

Couldn't that have also covered some plans for homebuilt aeroplanes available online? I have seen kits for sale for not that much over the price and he could still say that he built it, and did it himself?

Also - no flight training?
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Old 3rd Jun 2017, 17:23
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Originally Posted by alex90 View Post
Also - no flight training?
I think flight training is the least of his concern... Maybe some basic physics training!
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Old 3rd Jun 2017, 18:12
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There is more background to this story which was uploaded to the BBC website over the last 24 hours.
For starters the reporter Holly Robertson does not work for the BBC but filed as a freelance.
She lives in Phnom Penh and tends to follow up local stories.
This one appeared in the Cambodia Daily six months ago.

The BBC text is similar to the original.

However the original Cambodia Daily story has this quote.
In the past few weeks, Mr. Long’s project has made it onto social media, and Prey Veng governor Chea Somethy paid him a visit.

A word of caution, however, came on Wednesday from Keo Sivorn, a spokesman for Civil Aviation. While it is a wonderful project that should be encouraged, Mr. Long should have his plane checked by an expert before attempting his first flight for his own safety, he said.

And, just in case, he added, Mr. Long should try not to take off too close to other planes on his inaugural flight.

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Another picture here to help you assess his handiwork. I wonder how he built and balanced the prop!

Last edited by Mike Flynn; 3rd Jun 2017 at 18:49.
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Old 3rd Jun 2017, 20:37
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RAF 2020. Teresa thanks you.
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Old 3rd Jun 2017, 21:03
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Originally Posted by Planet Basher View Post
RAF 2020. Teresa thanks you.
better than what corbyn would want.
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Old 3rd Jun 2017, 21:21
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That prop is a real work of art....he should take it off and nail to his wall!

He might live longer.
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Old 3rd Jun 2017, 22:12
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There's something rather sad yet admirable about these people with so much hope and determination but no knowledge of the technology they are trying to ape. Its hard to realise that something we take for granted is still foreign, exotic magic to some who see the magic from afar but haven't had the benefit of an education to understand that what they are attempting is doomed to fail. What might this fella and doubtless millions more like him achieve with a bit of schooling?
Parhaps someone could gently tell him that a seaplane is going to be even harder to get right, and that it will inevitably end up 50m down rather than an unattainable 50cm up.
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Old 4th Jun 2017, 12:19
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Such projects come up with a certain frequency, nothing "very unusual" about this one. For myself I have nothing but admiration for these people, and the amount of dedication and budget they put into their projects.

The comment about not availing of plans and other documentation available on the www seems very one-sided - the www is not as omnipresent as some believe.

Neither can the effort be totally uneducated - at least the need for reduction gear was seen, and catered for.

Looking on from a distance, one can easily say the combination of 500 kg weight and 5,5 m wingspan and very limited power was asking for trouble. But that's too easy a criticism. And perhaps it wasn't even totally impossible, with a thick enough wing.

The one thing I would say he ought to reconsider is climbing to 50 metres at a first try. The first try should be a take-off and immediate landing, never higher than the landing gear can absorb falling from. Then again, those 50 metres were probably only wishful thinking.
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Old 4th Jun 2017, 12:49
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I'd suggest that the 25 or so BHP from that toy engine might limit it's chances too, ie from about zero to exactly zero.
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Old 4th Jun 2017, 14:21
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You have to give the guy top marks for persistance and passion. Someone should start a crowd-funding arrangement to pay for some intensive training for him in basic physics and engineering, so he actually knows where he's gone wrong, and gone right.

As they say, it's what you don't know that kills you - all he needs, is to be taught what he needs to know.
After that, he could probably be assisted to purchase a proper kitplane, so he can put it together, and then be taught how to fly.

One has to admire these people - but for the good education systems we take for granted, and the fortunate positions many of us have been born into, any one of us could easily have been him.
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Old 4th Jun 2017, 22:46
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This guy obviously has the passion and definitely has the skill to build an aicraft. What he is missing is a design and the concept that flying is a skill that had to be learnt before you fly solo (or alone in your cockpit).
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Old 5th Jun 2017, 13:26
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"...flying is a skill..."

I wonder who taught George Cayley's footman or, the Wright Bros. ?
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