A pilot is attempting to make history as the first Chinese citizen to fly around the world in a single-engine plane. Wei Chen, founder and owner of Sunshine Enterprises, a steel trading company with offices in China and Memphis, has already made history, flying his TBM 700 across China.
Halfway through his journey, which originated from Memphis, Chen flew from Hong Kong to Changsha, his hometown, where his friends and family greeted him upon arrival. From Changsha, he stopped in Xian, Beijing and Harbin.
“Wei Chen’s flight is truly historic, and all of us at Daher-Socata are proud he chose the TBM 700 to accomplish these aviation firsts,” said Nicolas Chabbert, senior vice president of Daher-Socata’s airplane division. “They will serve as very positive steps in developing China’s general aviation sector.”
“I am excited flying into China,” said Chen. “This has always been my dream. Seeing my homeland from the air, it is very exciting, to be the first pilot to fly around the world through China, in a single engine plane. It defines the meaning of the whole trip and this defines my life.”
After coming to the U.S. in 1996 to earn his MBA at Memphis University, Chen learned to fly in 2007.
He began his around-the-world journey May 22 and expects to complete it sometime in August. Slated to make 41 stops in 21 countries, his flight is also a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He also hopes to promote general aviation in China and strengthen U.S.-China relationships.
Follow his journey at WeiAroundTheWorld.com