Saturday 4 April 2020

An ultralight plane: Image: Bigstock (for illustration only)

Czech locksmith builds plane to fly to work

ZDIKOV, Czech Republic, August 24, 2016

Frantisek Hadrava thought driving to work for 14 minutes was too much, so he built a plane to cut the commute by half.

Hadrava, a 45-year old locksmith from the south-western Czech village of Zdikov, took about two years of his spare time to build his Vampira, an ultralight plane based on the US-design of light planes called Mini-Max.

The plane has an open cockpit, propeller powered by a 3-cylinder engine made by Czech firm Verner, and maximum speed of 146 km an hour. It cost about 3,700 euros ($4,200) to build, Hadrava said.

Early on Wednesday morning, Hadrava flew his usual path through the forested, hilly foothills of the Sumava mountains for his 6 am shift at Drevostroj, a small factory in the town of Ckyne making machine tools for the forestry industry.

He lands on a meadow across the road from the factory. He then needs to push the plane across the road, leading to the German border, to a parking lot outside the factory.

"It takes me about 12-14 minutes by car," Hadrava said.

"By plane, it would take around 4-5 minutes if I flew directly, but I take a bit of a detour so that I don't disturb people early in the morning. So it takes about 7 minutes."

Hadrava has also built a replica of the German World War One triplane Fokker Dr. I, and his next plan is to construct another historical plane, the French Deperdussin.  - Reuters

Tags: plane | flying | Czech |

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