Shu Mansheng built his first aircraft in October 2010. It was saved by an inadequate powerplant that failed to lift it off the ground. A second effort was aborted when the innovator determined it would be too heavy to fly. This April Shu built another aircraft in a span of about 15 days. He managed to fly that one over approximately 30 meters at an altitude less than seven meters above the ground before he crashed. Shu Mansheng has been able to focus on his aviation exploits after some advances in his career led him to a financial windfall. He retired from his day job and now works full-time on his aviation adventures. His latest scheme has consumed the equivalent of nearly $10,000. His dream is to create a school "where kids can learn things not taught in regular school," he told WorldTourist.com.
Mansheng (in red) tests the engines of his flying device ahead of his first test flight. The round steel flying device, which cost more than 20,000 yuan, was the fifth model made by Shu, a junior middle school graduate. It measures up to 5.5 meters in diameter, and is powered by eight motorcycle engines. (Jason Lee / Reuters)