Anyone who dares to build a helicopter with wooden blades, a steel-pipe-reinforced frame, and a motorcycle engine deserves to go up in the thing. But the Chinese government has forbidden farmer Wu Zhongyuan from even attempting a test flight. We just want to see if the crazy contraption can fly.
Granted, Chinese locals have history of bold DIY inventions ranging from homemade robots to DIY gyrocopters and airplanes. Many of these emerged from the "shanzhai" movement, which celebrates both homemade ingenuity and knockoffs.
Wu says that he built the copter based on middle-school physics, and all for a sum of $1,600. If the copter truly works and isn't just a hoax, he claims that the invention can get him as high as 2,600 feet.
What do you think? Is that a viable flying machine or a pretty model?
He's not alone among China's DIY flyers, if these videos are any indication.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.