Tue, Jan 22, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Firefighter turns bicycle into model firefighting airplane

By Lin Yi-chang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Chiayi County firefighter Huang Ta-yu shows some of the toys he has made in Chiayi County on Saturday.

Photo: Lin Yi-chang, Taipei Times

Chiayi County firefighter Huang Ta-yu (黃達育) has remodeled a bicycle into a model firefighting aircraft in celebration of Firefighters’ Day on Saturday.

Huang said he used cardboard and other materials to build the model biplane, which is painted yellow and bears the number 119 — the fire hotline — in red.

The propeller in front of the model rotates when the bicycle is pedaled, he added.

The project has allowed him to teach his son how to ride a bicycle, the significance of the colors red and yellow to firefighters, and what the number 119 means, Huang said.

Huang said he has always been interested in piecing together models, adding that he has been making and remodeling toys for his son since he became old enough to play with them.

Building toys allows him to create unique toys and it also costs less than buying them at a store, he said.

Huang started building toys by watching instructions on YouTube and once he grasped the basics, he began designing and remodeling the toys he had on hand.

He remodeled trucks and toy robots into fire engines and firefighting robots, Huang said.

Using cardboard, straws and rubber bands, he created replica stag beetles that can move and also created a table-top set with props to tell the story of the Three Little Pigs, he said.

Some kindergartens have contacted him to borrow the set, he added.

However, Huang said that his son was critical of his work and told him that “just because dad made them does not make them better.”

Huang said that his most popular creation so far has been a Halloween costume he made for his son last year.

It is a Red Riding Hood costume that transforms into the Big Bad Wolf, he said, adding that he made it from cardboard and newspaper, and used straws to make the wolf’s claws and tail.

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