From handcrafted helicopters and self-built excavators to race cars and mechanical lobsters, the ingenious rural engineers of China have outdid themselves this time with a working battle tank.
According to People’s Daily, Shandong villager Peng Haojie managed to build a 1:1 scale replica of a type-99 main battle tank. With the help of his friends, it took him only 11 months, outfitted with a diesel engine that can run at a speed of 15 kilometers per hour.
Measuring 10 meters long, 3 meters wide and weighting 20 tonnes, Peng’s creation is an exact replica of the war machine it is based on. Although it cannot fire projectiles and shells for obvious reasons, the replica’s mechanical parts and systems works the same as a type-99 tank. This is made more amazing by the fact that Peng had no previous experience in building tanks or even blueprints of the tank’s design — he seemingly build it from scratch.
As to the reason behind building the replica, Peng had been strongly interested in military affairs and mechanical parts since his childhood. His interests became a pratical reality upon hearing that the youth military school which his son attends lacked teaching aids about tanks.
Nevertheless, Peng and his team sees this as only the beginning of their project — they intend to build an entire platoon of type-99s, as well as developing model replicas of different type variants. He hopes that this would allow children to become more interested in national defense and the military.
Tanks are not actually a new asset in the growing number of indigenous hand-made vehicles rolling out of the Chinese countryside. In fact, one farmer in Liaonong had previously furbished a fully functioning Soviet tank in his backyard. Yet, witnessing DIY engineering feats like a 1000kg submarine, a dog-powered cart, a DIY solar-powered car and real life Transformers models, it really makes us wonder what these ingenious farmers will introduce in the future.
By Arnie Yung
[images via Sina News/ People’s Daily]