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Man Tired of Driving to Work Builds Himself an Airplane

Tired of wasting 14 minutes driving to work every day, a crafty locksmith from the Czech Republic managed to cut his commute time in half by building himself an airplane and flying to work.

45-year-old Frantisek Hadrava, from the south-western Czech village of Zdikov, used to drive for 12-14 minutes for his 6 a.m. shift at Drevostroj, a small factory in the town of Ckyne, but he thought that was too long. So he spent the last two years building himself an ultralight plane based on the U.S.-design of Mini-Max planes. Now, whenever the weather permits it, instead of hopping in his car, he gets into the open cockpit plane and flies to his workplace in just seven minutes.

“It takes me about 12-14 minutes by car,” Hadrava told Reuters. “By plane, it would take around 4-5 minutes if I flew directly, but I take a bit of a detour so that I don’t disturb people early in the morning. So it takes about 7 minutes.”

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Chinese Man Builds His Very Own Plane

24-year-old Zeng Qiang spent the last year working on a home-made airplane, in his home village of Sifang, Southwest China.

Zeng, who makes a living by performing at weddings and funerals, in his neighborhood, suddenly became interested in airplanes 10 years go, and has since then spent most of his spare time studying model airplanes. About a year ago, he set out to build his very own flying machine, and believe it or not, he’s almost done it. His 6-meter-long, 9-meter-wide, 150-kg-heavy airplane just needs an engine, and Zeng Qiang says he’ll have it installed in time for the big unveiling, on September 25, during an airshow, in Chongqing.

The young builder has recorded the building process in a notebook, and says he’s already got a big fan: his 2-year-old son, whose toys are all model airplanes.

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The flying fuselage tube

The Stipa-Caproni prototype aircraft was basically a venturi tube fitted with 120hp de Havilland Gypsy III engine and a propeller at the front end of the tube. It was built by Caproni in 1932 but it never went into mass production because…well, it didn’t really fly; the original test report says the strange plane only flew for a distance of 500m at a height of 5/6 meters. A unique replica of the odd looking flying machine is owned by Lynette Zuccoli, from Brisbane, Australia.

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