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A man with a dream.

Chen Zhao Rong (陈昭荣) dreamed of flying.

Despite not being able to read English, and with only a primary school education, Chen scoured through foreign flying websites, checking out pictures and schematics, before finally starting to build his helicopter.


Chen made and welded all the body parts himself, checking his design against photo’s on the internet, as he progressed with his plan. After the body was built, he bought a second hand engine and mounted it.


With a total cost of less than 70,000RMB, and a little over 2 years of development, Chen finally achieved his dreams, and made a flying helicopter.

Although he now had a flying machine, he still needed to learn how to fly.

For the first few months, every time he started up his engine, the whole village would come watch.
It took him another 6 months before he was confident enough to leave the ground.

His first successful flight took him 1 metre off the ground.

Eventually he was flying 6 metres above the ground, just above his 5 story building – he was scared to go higher.


It took him another few months to be comfortable flying, and could turn and stop with ease.

Unfortunately in May 2008, while flying to another village, he lost power, and at a speed close to 70km/s he crashed his helicopter in a nearby field. Although fearing the engine would explode, he survived the crash, and managed to walk home in one piece.

His wife was not so happy though, and left him for a week, threatening to leave him for good unless he stopped flying.

News about his exploits also reached the local police who subsequently made him sign a document stating that he wouldn’t fly again.

In the end, he sold the helicopter parts to a friend for 20,000RMB.

He still hasn’t given up on his dream though, and his fame lives on in the internet, where thousands of people watch in awe at the video of his flight.


Flying dangerously close to power lines, buildings, and somehow landing back in one piece!