Xia Bin, a 39-year-old worker from the Panzhihua Iron and Steel Group, failed at his first shot to fly a DIY aircraft on a new byroad along the Qingbai Jiang river at Xindu's Dajian Lu.
He used scraps from electric scooters and motorcycles to assemble the test piece. The wings and propeller of the 'plane' were made of wood while the valves and tyres were from an electric bicycle. Xia used a motorbike engine.
The three-year effort failed to take off after running on the road for about 50 meters. A piece of wood even fell off from the propeller.
Donning a helmet and oil-stained shirt, Xia stood beside his creation on an empty field before tying a chair onto it. The chair even had a car's seat belt secured to it.
Several slag trucks stopped and workers alighted to see what was going on. One of them asked if there were brakes on the new ride.
He explained to onlookers that the engine controls the propeller and wind energy is supposed to power up the propellers, generating an upward force for the aircraft to be lifted off the ground.
Xia removed the rock blocking the tyre and pushed the structure towards the road.
Sure enough, a small van came by and the driver alighted to place two tapered barrels on the road. Xia stopped the aircraft and whipped out a bottle of Luzhou Lao Jiao alcohol which contained fuel for the vehicle.
He restarted the engine to no avail and reasoned that the wind was not strong enough.
Removing his helmet, he said, "This is not an aircraft, but a rotorcraft." He had gleaned from others' success at flying their DIY rotorcrafts.
Having studied electronics at college, Xia is involved in making seamless steel pipes for work. In 2008, he decided to make his own rotorcraft.
He read up on the theory before buying materials. The engine and propeller costs most, at RMB5,000 to RMB6,000 each. He bought the latter from someone who claimed to have flown his creation 500 metres high.
Xia said his creation is too unrefined without any proper machinery.
He was not expecting to achieve success but just practise his skills, he added, hopeful about future ventures.
See the video below for a grander attempt which ended with some injuries for a farmer from Wuhan province.