Tag Archives: Aircraft

Highway to the Danger Zone

The art of Air Combat Manoeuvring (ACM) came to the attention of the general public with Tony Scott’s 1986 film, Top Gun. Whilst this concentrated on the US Navy’s school the US Marine Corps and Air Force have similar units. With the advent of high-tech missiles, guns and dog-fighting were deemed to be obsolete. Pilots would be able to destroy their enemies using radar, way before they were close enough to see them.

Vietnam was to become the testing ground for the technology. However, the Rules of Engagement often dictated that the identity of opponents had to be visually confirmed first. This could lead the heavy American aircraft (often with no guns) into tight, close-in, turning fights with lighter, cannon armed MiGs. Analysis showed that US airmen needed new aircraft, leading to the F-15 & F-16 programmes and new skills, which lead to the creation of the USAF’s Aggressor squadrons. These squadrons flew lightweight aircraft, often of types not used by the US, which could simulate the tactics and manoeuvres used by enemies.

Evan M‘s excellent F-16C comes from the 16th Weapons Squadron, based at Nellis AFB. The model does a very good job of capturing the smooth curves of the F-16’s blended fuselage and wing in angular Lego. The tan & brown colours from Lego also represent one of the various colours scheme used by the squadron. Click here to see more images and click here to take the Highway to the Danger Zone.

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Jon Hall‘s fantasy aeroplanes have featured several times before on TLCB. His Fe-47 Rapier is just as impressive and creative as his previous ‘planes. The aircraft has Jon’s trademark custom decals and a smoothly streamlined fuselage. Streamlined that is apart from the giant cannon that is this model’s most prominent feature. Click the link in the text to see more views of the aeroplane, as Jon releases them over the next few days.

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Tuesday Trio

Lego US Navy Aircraft

Flickr’s Dornbi has appeared here numerous times with his stunning Lego aircraft. He’s recently pictured three of his historic US Navy planes together, with the F14a Tomcat, A-6E Intruder and A-7E Corsair all faithfully recreated in grey and white bricks. There’s more to see of each at Dornbi’s photostream – click there for the full set of images.

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Remembrance Sunday

Lego Great War Dogfight, Fokker Vs Airco

Today is Remembrance Sunday in The Lego Car Blog’s home nation, and never has a Lego image seemed more beautifully suited.

Henrik Jensen‘s wonderful dogfight between a German Fokker Eindecker EIII and his previously featured British Airco DH2 reminds us that the First World War claimed an enormous amount of life on both sides, and was the first war where conflict rather than disease caused the majority of the loss.

The war itself was pretty pointless, yet around 6 million Allied and 4 million Axis Powers servicemen lost their lives, along with an estimated 2 million civilians. We remember them all, including those our forebears fought against.

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The Spinning Incinerator

Lego Airco DH.2 Fighter

This odd contraption is an Airco DH.2, an early First World War fighter aircraft designed by legendary aeronautical pioneer Sir Geoffrey de Havilland.

The early years of flight were dangerous ones, with poor pilot training and machines pushing the boundaries of aeronautics almost continuously. This meant a huge incident rate (and the Airco DH.2 gaining the nickname in today’s title), but once the Royal Flying Corps were familiar with the design the DH.2 proved to be more than a match for its German counterparts, being highly manoeuvrable and relatively easy to fly.

The single Lewis machine gun mounted up front originally swung from side to side, but as pilots found it easier to aim  with their aircraft than the gun it became fixed to the cockpit. Behind the pilot was a French 100bhp Gnome Monosoupape nine-cylinder radial engine, mounted there in ‘pusher’ configuration as unlike the Germans the British hadn’t yet developed a synchronisation system to allow a gun to fire between spinning propeller blades.

The Airco DH.2 had a ridiculously short yet successful career, destroying 44 enemy aircraft in The Battle of the Somme. Such was the pace of development in the First World War that just a year later the arrival of new German fighters meant DH.2 was outclassed and replaced by the DH.5, which itself only lasted a single year in combat operation before the S.E.5 arrived to see out the conflict, by this time looking far more like a plane we would recognise today.

This neat mini-figure scale recreation of the Airco DH.2 comes from Henrik Jensen, and it captures the aircraft’s weirdness rather well. With such a short life-span there are no surviving original DH.2s today, so this may be as close as we’ll get to seeing one – take a look at Henrik’s photostream via the link above, or at MOCpages here.

Lego Airco DH.2 Fighter

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Piggyback

Lego Nasa Space Shuttle Boeing 747

This remarkable airplane is a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), based on the Boeing 747 airliner and pictured here piggybacking the Space Shuttle. It’s been built by Lia Chan of Flickr, who has appeared here before with his incredible Shuttle launch scene. There’s more to see of Lia’s spectacular replica of SCA NA905 on Flickr, where the album includes images of the model alongside its enormous real-life NASA counterpart shot on-location at the Houston Space Centre. Click the link above to visit the full gallery.

Lego SCA NA905

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Not a Car

Lego Supermarine Spitfire

But, in this writer’s opinion, the most beautiful aircraft of the Second World War. This gorgeous Supermarine Spitfire comes from Mike Fifer of MOCpages, and it contains some of the most brilliantly-built colouring of any model we’ve found. It’s not just the superb camouflage you can see in these pictures either, as the underside is rather special too. Click the link above to find out why.

Lego Supermarine Spitfire

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And Now for Something Completely Different…

Lego Air Pirates

Uh Oh! Air Pirates! You know, pirates… but in the air! That’s about all we’ve got for this piratical airship from Ted Andes, so it’s probably best to head straight to Flickr. Alternatively, as is often the case when we don’t know what’s going on, here’s some completely unrelated illiness.

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Water Bomb

Lego Canadair CL-215

Ah Canada. The United States’ slightly boring neighbour. Home of singing-horse Celine Dion, the catchy pop of Carly Ray Jepsen, and perennial annoyance that is Justin Bieber. Fortunately they also know how to make some cool stuff up there, thanks almost entirely to transportation giant Bombardier.

Founded in the 1930s Bombardier began by making snowmobiles, and have since expanded to build ski-doos, trains, ATVs and aircraft. It’s the latter we have here, in the form of a Canadair CL-215 water-bombing amphibious plane. Designed in the late 1960s to operate at low speeds and in tricky winds, the CL-215 was sold to eleven countries for fire-fighting and search and rescue operations, with 125 units produced until the design was replaced in 1990.

This lovely replica of the Canadair CL-215 comes from previous bloggee Dornbi of Flickr and he’s captured the unusual shoulder-mounted engine configuration of the aircraft brilliantly. There’s more of the build to see at Dornbi’s photostream – click the link above to drop the world’s biggest water bomb.

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Gimmie a Ticket for an Aeroplane

Lego Technic Airliner

Gimmie a ticket for an aeroplane
Ain’t got time to take a fast train
Lonely days are gone I’m a goin’ home
My baby has just wrote me a letter.

We don’t often see Technic aeroplanes, but this unusual creation by BrickbyBrickTechnic shows that Technic aircraft can be done very well indeed. With working ailerons, airbrakes, elevators and tail rudder, plus functioning (and suspended) landing gear, BrickbyBrick’s jet airliner includes more functionality than many Technic models of more usual subjects. Get yourself a ticket at either Flickr or Eurobricks, and you can find today’s title song by clicking here.

Lego Technic Airliner

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Chinese Whispers

Lego J-11B Fighter

China’s home-grown vehicles often seem to have been ‘designed’ via a game of Chinese Whispers, starting with a respectable Western, Japanese or Korean product, and ending with a tragically distorted lookalike such as this. Or this. Or this. Or this.

Make no mistake though, whilst we’re happily mocking China’s complete disregard for copyright infringement, Chinese cars will be arriving on mass very soon, and it won’t be long before we’ll all be flying on Chinese-designed aircraft too.

In the meantime it’s the domestic market that China’s vehicle and aircraft manufacturers are serving with their cloned produce, as is the case with today’s creation. This is a Shenyang J-11B fighter, a licensed copy of the mid-’80s Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-27 air superiority fighter, and currently in sole use by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force of China.

This spectacular Lego replica of the Shenyang J-11B comes from Flickr’s Lennart C and it’s a better copy than any of China’s cars could hope to be. There’s an opening cockpit, detailed landing gear, as well as an assortment of cloned Russian weaponry, and there’s lots more to see at Lennart’s photostream via the link above.

Lego Shenyang J-11

Or this.

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Not A Car…

Lego Nakajima Ki-84Eagle-eyed readers of this blog post will have noticed that this is not a car. It is in fact a Nakajima Ki-84 ‘Hayate’ World War 2 fighter, as flown by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service in the last three years of the war. One of the fastest, most formidably armed, and highest flying fighters of the time, the Nakajima Ki-84 was a feared adversary.

Over 3,500 Ki-84’s were produced between 1943 and 1945, although towards the end of the conflict the crippling effects of the war on production meant that defects rose dramatically and quality dropped. After the Allied victory several Ki-84’s were captured, with Indonesia the People’s Republic of China operating the aircraft within their own air forces, and America using two for evaluation.

Lego Ki-84 Hayate Fighter

Today just one Nakajima Ki-84 ‘Hayate’ fighter survives, an ex-U.S evaluation aircraft now located in the Chiran Peace Museum in Japan. However thanks to previous bloggee and military-building specialist Daniel Siskind we now have double the number of Ki-84’s available to view.

Daniel’s superb mini-figure scale recreation of Japan’s fastest Second World War fighter is a beautifully detailed build and includes authentically replicated Imperial Japanese roundels and tail markings, as well as a custom IJA airman mini-figure shown in the first image above. See more of Daniel’s Nakajima Ki-84 ‘Hayate’ fighter and its custom mini-figure pilot on Flickr by clicking here.

Lego Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate

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Mighty Meteor

Lego Gloster Meteor

The Gloster Meteor is one of this writer’s very favourite aircraft. And that’s probably the nerdiest line ever said in human history. Anyway, it is. Because look at it.

The Meteor was the Allies first jet-powered aircraft, and the only one to enter service during the Second World War. Powered by two Rolls-Royce Welland turbojet engines designed by the engineering genius Sir Frank Whittle, the meteor became the fastest aircraft of the time, breaking numerous speed and climbing records.

The Meteor was flying on the very edge what what was achievable in the 1940s, and thus hundreds of the aircraft (and the pilots that flew them) were lost to accidents, mechanical failures and fuel starvation (the Meteor could only fly for an hour at most). However, the Meteor was also fast enough to catch and destroy the V1 flying bomb in flight, and destroyed 46 German aircraft on the ground by the end of the war. The Meteor wasn’t permitted to fly over land in German occupation though, so great was the fear of the aircraft being captured and its secrets being learned.

After the war the incredible rate of jet aircraft development meant the Meteor quickly become obsolete, ending its days as a target tug, but without the Meteor’s pioneering technology it could have been many more years before jetting off on holiday became a realistic possibility for millions of people.

This beautiful recreation of a the Gloster Meteor in Royal Danish Airforce livery comes from previous bloggee Henrik Jensen, and it captures the iconic shape of the real aircraft brilliantly. There’s more to see of Henrik’s build at MOCpages and Flickr where Henrik has made the internal secrets of his model available to view. Even if you’re German.

Lego Gloster Meteor

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Eye in the Sky

Lego E-2C Hawkeye Aircraft

This wonderfully weird contraption is a Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft, currently serving in the U.S Navy aircraft carrier fleet. First flying in 1960, the E-2 Hawkeye is not only still in service some five decades later, but is actually still in production, giving it the longest production run of any carrier-based aircraft.

The huge disc atop the Hawkeye is a 24-foot rotating radar dome equipped with long-range radar and IFF systems, the only carrier-based aircraft to possess such technology. This enormous eye/ear allows the E-2 to detect incoming threats long before they become a danger, allowing the carrier upon which it’s stationed to prepare defences.

This remarkably accurate replica of one the the U.S navy’s oddest aircraft comes from previous bloggee and TLCB Master MOCer Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad Physicist, and he’s used some absolutely genius techniques to recreate the Hawkeye’s unique shape. There’s lots more to see at Ralph’s photostream by clicking here – just know that the Hawkeye is sure to see you coming…

Lego E-2C Hawkeye U.S Navy Aircraft

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Sci/Sky-Fi Sunday

Lego Sky-Fi

Full disclosure; we don’t really know the difference between sky-fi and sci-fi. One has propellors and one doesn’t maybe? Anyway, we’re sure the more professional blogs will pick these up soon so you can read a proper description there, in the meantime we’re happy just to say that they’re both rather lovely builds and that you can see more of Sylon-tw‘s ‘F-09 Trident’ (above) and Eric Teo‘s ‘Crimson Dawn’ on Flickr via the links.

Lego Sci-Fi

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