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Czech man flying to work by homebuilt aircraft

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Ckyne, South Bohemia, Aug 5 (CTK) – Czech mechanic Frantisek Hadrava, 45, is flying to his work in Ckyne, 15 km of his home in Zdikov, south Bohemia, by an ultralight aircraft he has constructed himself, since it is cheaper than driving a car, he has told CTK.

He can fly at the speed of up to 125 km/hour. The only condition is nice weather.

“The flight takes me less than five minutes. I avoid the most densely populated residential areas and fly above the woods not to wake up people at about 5:30 in the morning,” Hadrava told CTK, adding that his shift starts at 6:00.

He uses the American MiniMax, the prototype of which dates back to the 1970s. However, Hadrava constructed the aircraft, which is almost completely made of wood, weighing 175 kilos, himself in two years. It cost over 200,000 crowns.

Its petrol consumption is six litres/hour.

“This all is a practical joke,” Hadrava said, adding that he wears a long white scarf and an old-fashioned leather helmet in the plane’s cockpit.

Hadrava parks his plane among other employees’ cars on the firm’s parking lot. His workmates from the plant help him get the plane from a nearby meadow across a road to the parking lot.

Apart from the MiniMax, he has also constructed a more complex Fokker Dr.I triplane, which Germans flew during WWI. He spent 3,750 hours constructing the plane.

Hadrava has been an aviation fan since his childhood. First, he created small models, followed by a paragliding wing and a rogallo with an engine before he started making historical planes.

As soon as he saves enough money, he would like to to build an exact replica of the French Deperdussin monoplane from 1910, he said.

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