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China: Around The Nation

Chinese man spends US$120,000 building replica Airbus, but isn’t sure what to do with it

Former motorcycle repairman spends US$120,000 on replica A320 and is now considering plan to turn it into a restaurant

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 November, 2017, 1:33pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 November, 2017, 4:14pm

A Chinese aviation enthusiast who spent over 800,000 yuan (US$120,000) building a life-size model Airbus is now puzzling what to do with it when he has finished.

Zhu Yuecheng, from Kaiyun in the northeastern Liaoning province, started work on the replica in October last year, Beijing Youth Daily reported on Thursday.

“I have loved planes since a really young age. Since I cannot afford to buy one, I decided to build one,” he said. “I have spent all my savings on this.”

The former motorcycle repair worker began his project after three months of research. After sketching his designs, he asked five friends to help him to build the replica in a factory inside an industrial park in January.

The venue was provided to him by the factory owner as Zhu said the owner supported his idea.

The plane was modelled on the Airbus A320, which has an overall length of 37.84 metres, width including wings of 36 metres and height of 12 metres.

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To simulate the real plane, Zhu has even put a dummy engine under the wings with spinning turbofans.

Zhu is expecting the plane to be completed by next May, but he has not made up his mind on the use of the model.

He is considering either opening a restaurant, or leasing it out for filmmakers.

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Yet, local authorities told the newspaper it would be difficult for Zhu to operate a restaurant inside the plane model unless he gets a licence for the plane to operate for business use.

“I could also live inside the plane. Imagine how happy you would be to invite friends to your plane,” Zhu said.