April 10, 2018 / 11:03 AM / a year ago

Chinese aviation buff builds full-scale Airbus replica

KAIYUAN, China (Reuters) - A man in northeastern China who always wanted to own an aircraft is doing the next best thing: building a full-scale replica of an Airbus A320 jet.

Zhu Yue, an aviation buff who worked as a welder and an auto mechanic, spent months studying plane models and technical drawings before he started building a homemade version a year ago with his friends.

Zhu, 40, who lives in the city of Kaiyuan in Liaoning province, said he planned to turn the replica into an aviation-themed restaurant.

“I want to make sure the plane is created with finesse and be the best A320 model in China,” he said.

The replica - 37.8 meters (124 ft) long with a wingspan of 36 meters (118 ft) and height of 12 meters (39.37 ft) - will feature model engine turbines that can rotate and a simulation cockpit, he added.

Zhu, who has so far spent more than 1 million yuan ($158,810) of his savings and used 40 tonnes of steel on his project, hopes to complete it by the end of year at a total cost of 2 million yuan ($317,620).

($1=6.2968 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Writing by Florence Lo in BEIJING; Editing by Tony Munroe and Clarence Fernandez

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