Lu Ban and His Flying Machine

Ouyang Ziyun, Ed.

PureInsight | January 6, 2003

[] Thousands of years ago, Lu Ban, a carpenter and craftsman, created a flying machine that was similar to today's glider.
Lu Ban was born in Dunhuang, now in Gansu Province. The actual dates of his birth and death are unknown, but some have put it in the Spring and Autumn subperiod (770 to 476 B.C. ) of the Eastern Zhou period. He was intelligent, skillful, and a gifted inventor. While building a pagoda in Liangzhou, he made a wooden kite. The kite could fly after its trigger was knocked on three times. He used the kite to fly back home from Liangzhou on a regular basis. No one knew this until, one day, his family learned that his wife was pregnant. His parents were scandalized since they thought their son was working in another city the whole time. Faced with his parents' repeated inquiries, his wife finally told the secret of the flying machine. His wife is supposed to have made the first umbrella. What Lu Ban invented the Lady Yun would improve.

Lu Ban also made a wooden figure. When the figure's finger pointed in a direction, drought would take place there. When the figure's hand was broken, heavy rain came to that area.

During the Warring States Period, Gongsu Ban, who was believed to be an ancestor of Lu Ban, had also made a wooden kite and used it to spy on the Song Country's military installations.

These are some examples of how the Chinese ancients' technology was very advanced.

(Reference: Tai Ping Record)

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