Flying Pigeon

Flying Pigeon

Flying Pigeon (Chinese: 飞鸽) is a Chinese bicycle company based in Tianjin.


Flying Pigeon bicycles have a long history. In 1936, a Japanese businessman built a factory in Tianjin which was named “Changho Works” and started to make “Anchor” bicycles. The brand name was changed to “Victory”, and then renamed to “Zhongzi”. After the Communists led by Mao Zedong came to power in 1949, the bicycle industry was revived. In April 1949, Chairman Mao's heir apparent, vice president Liu Shaoqi paid a visit to the factory and commanded that it become the first bicycle manufacturer in New China. Their workers were aimed to build a generation of strong, durable, light and beautiful bicycle for New China. On July 5th, 1950, the first Flying Pigeon bicycle was produced. It was the brainchild of a worker named Huo Baoji. He based his classic model on the 1932 English Raleigh roadster. The name chosen to represent the most prominent bicycle trademark was an expression for peace amidst the raging war in Korea. The logo is a stylised bird which represents concord and harmony, resting on the initials FP.

Flying Pigeon: China's bicycle since 1950

The Flying Pigeon is the bike that has pushed forward not only billions of people, but also history itself. It is at the forefront of the whole bicycle phenomenon in the People’s Republic of China.In 1950 revolutionary China was a tightly controlled and regimented society. Political beliefs, education, where people lived, what jobs they held and the amounts of goods produced by factories and farms were all centrally planned. The two-wheeled vehicle was the approved form of transport, and the nation became "zixingche da guo", the Kingdom of Bicycles. A bicycle was one of the three "must-haves“ of every citizen, alongside a sewing machine and watch - essential items in life that also offered a hint of wealth in those dour times. In Maoist China, the famed Flying Pigeon bicycle was a symbol of an egalitarian social system that promised little comfort but a reliable ride through life. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s the logo became synonymous with almost all bicycles in the country. The Flying Pigeon was the single most popular mechanized vehicle on the planet, becoming so ubiquitous that Deng Xiaoping - the post-Mao leader who launched China's economic reforms in the 1970s - defined prosperity as "a Flying Pigeon in every household”.In the early 1980s, Flying Pigeon was the country's biggest bike builder, and its 20-kilo black one-speed models were the pride of hero workers nationwide. There was a multiyear waiting list to get one, and even then you needed good guanxi, or connections - not to mention about four months' wages for most workers. Nowadays, of all the bicycle logos in China today, the silhouette of a pigeon resting on the two letters FP is probably the best-known. Flying Pigeon has become one of China's most storied brands and the most popular and influential bicycle in the world.


The Flying Pigeon's current building was built in 1998. It employs 600 workers who produce the bikes, using modern automated equipment.Fact|date=January 2008 Flying Pigeon now makes 40 models of bicycles, most of which look like contemporary mountain or city bikes, in dozens of colors. The frames are welded piecemeal; wheels are built on an assembly line, with spokes first laced to hubs, then threaded to rims. Workers hand-spray rough welds with coatings of enamel; the bikes move on conveyors similar those of a dry cleaner's.

Despite declining domestic sales, the Flying Pigeon remains China's bike, if only because much of the brand's old rolling stock is still in service. The government estimates that a half-billion bikes are in use throughout China, many handed down through generations. The Pigeon is one of the few ­nostalgia-­­inducing artifacts of China's postrevolutionary era, which was darkened by the Cultural Revolution and intense poverty. In 1994, the government named it a "national key trademark brand under protection," enshrining it similarly to national treasures. [ [,6610,s1-3-12-15416-1,00.html Flight Of The Pigeon - ] ]

Flying Pigeon: honours

In 1954, Flying Pigeon bicycles came to the first place in the first national quality evaluation. In the following comparisons and appraisals on bicycle quality, Flying Pigeon bicycles ever received such prizes and honours as National Silver Medal, Golden Prize of light industry series products at International Exposition, Best-selling Domestic Product Prize and National Best Post-sale Service Prize. In April of 1994, Flying Pigeon was listed as “The National Key Trademark Brand under Protection” by National Administration Bureau of Industry and commerce. Adhering to the policy of "quality first", the company passed the ISO9001 international quality certification. Flying Pigeon bicycles have been presented as a nation’s gift to The United States President Bush, Italy Prime Minister Prodi and Cuba President Fidel Castro, among others.


The Company does not advertise its traditional bicycles such as the PA-02 as the brand is so infused in Chinese society and culture.There are, however, localized advertising campaigns as the following from New York City demonstrates.

Traditional models

The classic Flying Pigeon bicycles are the PA-02 and PA-06 (gentlemen) and PB-13 (ladies). These are one of the most iconic symbols of old China (the sturdy, single speed black bicycle ridden by the masses). They are a work of art in their simplicity, conceived as a working machines that were meant to last a lifetime. They are indestructible, all-steel single speed colossi with 28-inch wheels, fenders, fully covered chain, sprung real leather saddle, rear rack and push-rod brakes (a handlebar lever connects directly to the brake pads), double stand (PA02 and PA06) or side stand (PB13). Like Ford's Model T, they are only available in one colour, black, except for the flare of vanilla at the fender tips. They have a full steel double reinforced top bar frame (originally designed to carry pigs) and are elegantly finished, strong built and light running. They can be equipped with a dynamo lighting set.

The PA-02 2D

The classic Flying Pigeon bicycle (based on the 1949 English Raleigh Popular Model 1/DL1) is the PA-02 2D, a rugged, single­speed with 28-inch wheels, fenders, a fully covered chain, a rear rack and push-rod brakes (A handlebar lever connects directly to the brake pads via a thin shaft of steel). It is only available in one color, black.

For most of the Communist era, the price of a Flying Pigeon was 150 yuan, about two months' salary, with a waiting list that stretched into years. There's a well-known story that a farmer once offered to trade his entire crop to speed up delivery of his Pigeon.

Today, the PA-02 2D fetches about 1,100 yuan, the equivalent of $150 USD. The Tianjin factory produces about 800,000 bikes yearly.

The PB-13

Women's version of the classic Flying Pigeon.

External links

* [ Flying Pigeon company website]
* [ The Flying Pigeon Project-A Flying Pigeon enthusiast blog]
* [ Retailing Flying Pigeons in New York City]
* [ Retailer for Flying Pigeon in Los Angeles]
* [ Distributor and Retailer of Flying Pigeons based in Portland, Oregon]
* [ A Blog concerning Flying Pigeon Images]
* [ Guanxi Trading: Texas Retailer & Importer of Flying Pigeons]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pigeon Orchid — Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae (unranked) …   Wikipedia

  • Pigeon racing — For the bicycle company, see Flying Pigeon. Pigeon racing is the sport of releasing specially trained racing pigeons, which then return to their homes over a carefully measured distance. The time it takes the animal to cover the specified… …   Wikipedia

  • Pigeon keeping — is the art and science of breeding domestic pigeons. Mankind has practiced pigeon keeping for about 10,000 years in almost every part of the world. In that time, mankind has substantially altered the morphology and the behavior of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Flying/Sporting Pigeons — Flying/Sporting is the name of one of three main groupings of breeds of domesticated pigeons used by pigeon fanciers in the United States. The other two are Fancy and Utility. These groupings, which can be somewhat arbitrary, are useful mainly in …   Wikipedia

  • pigeon racing — ▪ sport also called  Pigeon Flying,         racing for sport the homing pigeon, a specialized variety developed through selective crossbreeding and training for maximum distance and speed in directed flight.       The earliest record of the… …   Universalium

  • Pigeon sport — There are at least four main types of competitive pigeon sport:* Pigeon racing * Tumbling * Highflying * Tippler (Endurance)Though not quite a sport, fancy breeds of pigeons are also bred to standards and judged in a competitive fashion. Levi in… …   Wikipedia

  • pigeon-flying — pigˈeon flying noun • • • Main Entry: ↑pigeon …   Useful english dictionary

  • Flying dragon — dragon drag on (dr[a^]g [u^]n), n. [F. dragon, L. draco, fr. Gr. dra kwn, prob. fr. de rkesqai, dra kein, to look (akin to Skr. dar[,c] to see), and so called from its terrible eyes. Cf. {Drake} a dragon, {Dragoon}.] 1. (Myth.) A fabulous animal …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • flying lizard — dragon drag on (dr[a^]g [u^]n), n. [F. dragon, L. draco, fr. Gr. dra kwn, prob. fr. de rkesqai, dra kein, to look (akin to Skr. dar[,c] to see), and so called from its terrible eyes. Cf. {Drake} a dragon, {Dragoon}.] 1. (Myth.) A fabulous animal …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • flying rat — noun a rock pigeon living in an urban environment …   Wiktionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”