In the month of March 2017, Paen Long a citizen of Cambodia, Prey Veng Province, managed to turn his life-long pursuit of building a plane into reality.
The first thing that inspired him to come up with a dream to build an airplane was when he was seven and saw a helicopter fall from a sky, instead of being scared like the majority around him, he was rather happy.
When he turned 12, he and his cousin relocated to a different village, where they were trained for being mechanics. It was in his teenage years that Paen Long learned to read and write. However, pursuing a college degree to get a step closer to building planes was something that Paen Long could not afford.
It was only after his marriage and after the first child was born that Paen Long finally took a step towards his life-long dream of building airplanes by spending each and every night on his tablet, watching videos on YouTube about planes, the construction of the aircraft, possible accidents and crashes in English as well as in many different languages.
His first breakthrough was a remote-controlled plane; it was after the immense success of the remote control plane that he became confident in building planes that could help people commute from place to another.
His attempts and his evidence of persistence and determination can be witnessed in the back of one of the six garages. Paen Long was not satisfied with his second plane so he never tested the model. Whereas, the third model that he tested in March almost took a year to finish.
The single-seat light airplane is a hybrid of used wood, metal and second-hand parts from some other vehicles. Its wheels were taken from the motorcycle, its 35 horsepower engine came from a boat, its pit is a petrol drum and its control stick is the gear shift from a car. Paen Long himself admits that the overall quality of the plane is mediocre but what matters to him is the fact that the plane can truly fly.
The journey of this innovative and aspiring aircraft builder has not been an easy one because along with the problem of funding, his friends have also distanced themselves from him and most of the people call him crazy.
His true success story happened when a local production company asked Paen Long to be a part of their advertising campaign. It was a telecom company and the advertisement featured the struggling young people and their journey to fulfill their dreams.
The plane did take off but Paen Long was not sure of its time in the air and feared that it will crash on the people standing near, therefore, he lowered the speed and the plane crashed into a pond. However, the attempt was a success as the ad showed only the take off part and Paen Long’s dedication.
YouTube tutorial videos have given life and purpose to an actual person who till date is concrete in his decision to build a first-class plane and is not even afraid of crashing it again and again till the time the plane flies like the professional aircraft.