Cambodian man builds his own plane after watching YouTube videos

The airplane was inspired by a Japanese World War II design.

The airplane was inspired by a Japanese World War II design.

After years of saving money, watching YouTube videos and collecting recycled materials, a Cambodian man has built his own airplane.

Despite having never been on a plane in his life, Paen Long has held a passion for aviation since he was a little boy.

But it wasn't until later in life when the car mechanic had saved up some money that he decided to build his own one-seater plane based on a World War II plane design.

"I started building a plane, making it in secret," Long, who lives on the side of a highway, told the BBC.

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"I was afraid that people would make fun of me, so sometimes I worked at night."

It took the 30-year-old three years to finish the plane that comes complete with a plastic chair as the pilot's seat and a gas-container fuselage.

However, despite his determination and hard work, Long only managed to reach a height of 50 metres on his inaugural test flight in March.

"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," Long told the website about his failed attempt in front of neighbours.

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Nevertheless, the father of two has decided to take on a new challenge and plans to build a seaplane.

The amateur engineer said he spent more than US$10,000 (NZ$13,870) on the plane and has already spent $3,000 on his next model. 

"I never thought about spending money on other things," he says. "I never feel regret about spending all this money."

 - Stuff


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