Augustin, a Honduran man who has been confined to a wheelchair by Polio since childhood, has dedicated his life to constructing his own helicopter made entirely from junk. He started the helicopter project in 1958, designing and constructing all the elements from junk found at the city’s scrap yards – except for a single piece of rebar he purchased at a hardware store. The project has been a labor of love and has won him the admiration of friends and family. He even handmade the chains used to power the propeller!
The remarkable story is featured in the short film ‘Everything Is Incredible’. Augustin, who is a shoemaker, was afflicted by polio at a young age, leaving him unable to walk. Although he lived in near-poverty for most of his life, he always wanted to be a pilot as a child – which led him to pursue the extraordinary life-long project.
“Strictly speaking, it’s been a cause for mockery because the whole world thinks I’m crazy… that it’s impossible,” said Augustin. “When I was young I thought I would do it in 3 months, but it wasn’t like that as things kept getting complicated.”
“I can explain the function of each part, as each part took years of work. Only the rebar – I bought that at a hardware store, but everything else has been a process of me finding parts at rubbish dumps. ” “The problem is that everything is incredible but people won’t accept it. ”
Augustin is so dedicated to his project, that when relatives ordered him a new wheelchair from the US, he took it apart for parts for the helicopter.