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Feng Ru

Feng Ru, born in Enping County in Guangdong Province on December 15, 1883, is China's first aircraft designer and aviator. He went to the United States when he was a little boy. In 1903 when the Wright brothers' airplane made a successful test flight, Feng Ru was deeply impressed. Then he devoted himself to aircraft manufacturing.

Funded by local overseas Chinese, he began to manufacture planes in a factory in Oakland in 1907. Two years later, Feng Ru set up the Guangdong Air Vehicle Company and in this very year, he succeeded in producing a plane. Soon, the plane made a test flight in Oakland on September 21, 1909. San Fransisco Observer reported the news of the trial flight on its first page on September 23.

In 1910, Feng Ru manufactured another plane and staged on a series of flight exhibitions in Oakland from October to December, winning acclamation from Sun Yat-sen, china's revolutionary pioneer, and overseas Chinese in the USA.

Soon Feng Ru won the first grade pilot certificate awarded by the then American International Aeronautics Society. Feng Ru returned to his motherland with the two planes in 1911 to prepare development of aviation business in China and establish a flight team for the Guangdong Revolutionary Government. On August 25, 1912, Feng Ru died in a plane crash when staging a performance in Guangzhou City. He was buried in the Huanghuagang Cemetery of Guangzhou Uprising Martyrs, and Sun Yat-sen ordered the words "Chinese Aviation Pioneer" engraved on a monument in his honor.