Enterprising Human Watches YouTube, Builds Airplane

Now he's Googling, 'How to land homemade airplane'

By Kirk Miller

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14 June 2017

The Internet is a tool.

And by tool, we mean an actual tool that can help you learn to do pretty much anything. Used in the right way, it’s rather magical.

Take this amazing new story out of Cambodia, where some regular joe who had never flown before used YouTube instructional videos to build a working plane.

About a year ago a man named Paen Long started spending hours every night on YouTube sifting through instructional videos on constructing and flying airplanes. Long — a car mechanic with little formal education —had wanted to fly since he saw a helicopter scuttling through the air at age six. 

Using recycled materials — a car dashboard for a control panel, an old gas container as the body — Long was able to secretly construct a one-seater based on the design of a Japanese WWII plane. Then, on a nearby “runway” (really just a dirt road leading to a rice paddy field), Long got his aircraft 50 meters into the air before crashing; he left the crash not only unscathed, but also determined to build a seaplane.

So, a toast to the power of YouTube. We knew their “how-to” section was already massively popular, with searches in that realm growing 70% year over year. In a 2015 study by Google, it noted that 67 percent of Millennials agreed with the statement that they could find a YouTube video on anything they wanted to learn.

Like, say, how to be a bad ass. How to make slime without glue. How to fix a cracked iPhone screen with toothpaste. How to build a doomsday shelter.

Or, be it a drone or a pipe organ, how to build everything. Literally.

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