Tag Archives: Airplane

Sukhoi Su

Russia may have a current political direction as backward as America’s, but – like America – they sure know how to make a fighter jet. This is the Sukhoi Su-35, a multi-role air-superiority fighter conceived as the Soviet Union collapsed around it. The design survived though, and the first iteration entered service in the early ’90s whilst an updated version (this one) followed in 2007. In service in the Russian Air Force and the ‘People’s Liberation Army Air Force’ (aka the Chinese Air Force), just over 100 Su-35s are in use, with Egypt and Indonesia placing orders too.

This superb Lego recreation of the Sukhoi Su-35 comes from previous bloggee Lennart C aka Everblack, who has captured the real aircraft beautifully with some seriously smooth building techniques. There’s more of Lennart’s Su-35 to see at his photostream, where it joins a wealth of other excellent builds. Click the link above for some Russian air-superiority.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Stop! Hangar Time

War isn’t won just with planes, tanks and ships. Behind the scenes a huge machine needs to operate to keep the frontline moving, from medical care to mechanics and cookery to construction.

With shifting territory and short aircraft ranges in both world wars, runway and hangar building was as important to the war effort as the aircraft that used them. Often overlooked by Lego builders we have two builds today that recognise the behind-the-scenes heroes of the Allied victory in both wars.

First above (above) is Dread Pirate Wesley‘s superb First World War diorama, set somewhere in Northern France and featuring wonderful SE5a and Sopwith Camel biplanes alongside a brilliantly recreated canvas and wood hangar. It’s a stunning scene and one that you can see more of via the link to Wesley’s photostream above, where you can also find a trio of German Fokkers ready to meet the British fighters in the skies over France.

Today’s second wartime hangar (below) jumps forward around twenty-five years to the Second World War, with the canvas and wood replaced by concrete and tin, and the biplanes by the far more sophisticated Supermarine Spitfire, very probably the greatest fighter of the conflict. Builder Didier Burtin has curved LEGO’s grey baseplates under tension to create the impressive hangar, equipping with everything required to keep the pair of Spitfires airworthy.

There’s more to see of Didier’s beautiful Second World War diorama at his photostream via the link above, where you can also see what happens when a part fails on a 1940s fighter plane, and therefore why the heroes behind the scenes were as vital as those in the cockpits.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Not a Car

It’s been a weird sort of day here at The Lego ‘Car’ Blog. A post about Minion-operated mechs, one about bird watching, and now this. Whatever this is.

‘This’ is a ‘Beetle Skyvan’, according to its builder, previous bloggee and inventor-extraordinaire Vince_Toulouse. A myriad of parts from LEGO’s more unusual themes has been used to create it, including ‘ant wings’, a Scala staircase, and even some trusty Galidor pieces.

Head to Vince’s album on Flickr via the link above to see if you can spot them, and to see more of what is a rather remarkable (and surprisingly large*) build.

*That’s what she said.

Tagged , , , ,

My Other Car’s a Fiat 500

It’s a brave builder who takes an official wheeled LEGO set and uses it to construct something without wheels, but that’s exactly what previous bloggee Serge S has done in creating this marvellous polar aircraft. Build solely from the pieces found within the 10721 Fiat 500 set there’s more to see at Serge’s photostream by clicking the link above, plus if you’re feeling inspired to make an ‘alternate’ of your own you can check out TLCB’s Lock-Down B-Model Competition by clicking here!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Typhoon

This is a Eurofighter ‘Typhoon’, a multirole fighter developed across several countries in Europe. The UK is the largest operator, and a key engineer of the aircraft, hence the ‘Typhoon’ bit added to the name, as UK military aircraft tend be named after violent weather.

This incredible recreation of an RAF Typhoon is the work of crash_cramer of Flickr, who has recreated the Eurofighter in 1:15 scale with stunning attention to detail. A vacuum-formed canopy and 3D-printed nosecone join the LEGO bricks that make up this metre long replica, which is complete with two Meteor and two Asraam air-to-air missiles plus six slightly terrifying Paveway IV laser guided bombs.

There’s much more of this spectacular (and huge) replica of one of the world’s most agile fighter jets at crash_cramer’s photostream – click the link above to make the jump.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Fight Club

The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club. The Northrop/McDonnell Douglas YF-23 experimental fighter probably caused a few UFO sightings during its fifty secret test flights. Two YF-23s were built during the early ’90s for evaluation as the USAF’s next stealth fighter, nicknamed ‘Black Widow II’ and ‘Gray Ghost’ owing to their paint schemes.

Despite being faster and more agile than the competitor YF-22, it was the YF-22 that won the contract to be produced due to superior agility, becoming the Lockheed F-22 Raptor. Now de-classified (apart from top speed), the two experimental YF-23s reside in museums, meaning Ralph Savelsberg can talk about them.

His recreation of the ‘Gray Ghost’ includes an opening mini-figure scale cockpit, folding landing gear, and more ingenious building techniques in one build than this TLCB writer has used in his entire building career.

Head to Ralph’s photostream by the link above to see all the images. Just don’t talk to anyone about it.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

SXSW

The world isn’t flying very much at the moment. With countries locked down due to Coronavirus many airlines have had to ground their entire fleets, with rows of parked airliners visible from – ironically – the air at airports globally.

Mini-figures seem unaffected however, as this marvellous Southwest Boeing 737-800 by Flickr’s BigPlanes is packed! Southwest are America’s busiest domestic carrier and use a fleet of only 737s. The airline has over seven-hundred, making it the world’s largest 737 fleet, and BigPlanes has recreated one their hundreds of aircraft with a complete mini-figure scale interior and a kinda-brick-built livery (a few decals have helped) that’s beautifully accurate.

Head south via BigPlanes ‘Southwest Boeing 737-800’ album at the link above.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Patrouille Suisse

This strikingly-liveried aircraft is a Northrop F5-E Tiger supersonic fighter, and it looks really rather conspicuous indeed. Conspicuous is not what you want from a fighter of course, but whilst the F5-E was mostly designed to do battle against MiGs, it’s also used by the Patrouille Suisse aerobatic display team. Because what else do the Swiss need to do with a fighter jet?

Recreated here by previous bloggee Dornbi this brilliant brick-built Patrouille Suisse F5-E Tiger replicates the real aircraft’s livery in spectacular fashion, including the white ‘X’ on the bottom which we can’t even begin to fathom out. Head to Dornbi’s ‘F5-E Tiger’ album on Flickr to see if you can.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Dark Secret

This is the Sukhoi S-37 ‘Berkut’, a Russian air-superiority fighter that never was. First flying in the early 2000s just one ‘Berkut’ was built. Until Ralph Savelsberg decided to tackle it of course.

This is his astonishingly well-replicated Lego version, complete with an opening cockpit, swept-forward wings, working landing gear, and an opening bomb-bay. It’s also black, and black planes are always cool.

Head to Ralph’s Sukhoi S-37 ‘Berkut’ album on Flickr by clicking here to see more stunning images.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Silver Bird

We’ve featured many creations here at TLCB that include custom chromed pieces. We don’t mind doing this as a) it’s not really against the spirit of LEGO and b) they usually look awesome. However, it is sometimes nice when a builder uses only LEGO’s own silver parts.

There aren’t many silver LEGO pieces, which makes BigPlanes‘ recently re-photgraphed (and superbly presented) Boeing B-29 Superfortress even more impressive. Custom decals and mini-figure crew complete the build and there’s more to see of this speculator recreation of the historic bomber at BigPlanes’ ‘B-29’ album on Flickr. Click the link above and head to the skies.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Supersonic Bricks

TLCB bold statement of the weekend; the Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde is the greatest aircraft ever made. And simultaneously one of the worst…

Concorde is one of only two airliners ever to fly supersonic (the other of which was basically a Soviet copy), with a top speed of over 1,300mph. That’s twice the speed of sound, and it enabled passengers to travel from New York to London in three hours, meaning that check-in probably took longer than the transatlantic flight.

This remarkable feat was enabled by Concorde’s incredible delta wing design and the four Rolls Royce Olympus engines engines that took the plane to around 60,000ft, an altitude 50% higher than other commercial airliners.

However despite this height the aircraft was spectacularly loud, and not just because of its engines. A sonic boom – caused by the pressure wave that builds up around an object travelling above the speed of sound – is not a one-off ‘bang’, it’s continuous, travelling with the object. This meant that Concorde was only allowed to travel at supersonic speeds over water, and thus almost all of the world’s airports refused to take it.

With costs spiralling to over £1 billion (in the 1970s!), the British and French governments effectively bought the programme, with each country’s national carrier (British Airways and Air France) becoming the only operators to fly the plane. From an original sales expectation in the low hundreds, just fourteen aircraft were built (plus six test units), entering service between Europe and America.

With Concorde only able to take around 100 passengers at a time, tickets were enormously expensive – costing dozens of times more than a conventional transatlantic flight. However in the booming 1980s both operators were finally able to turn a profit, as Concorde’s wealthy passengers were happy to pay the huge price for the speed and status offered by a supersonic transatlantic flight.

It couldn’t last forever though, and with Concorde ageing, fuel prices increasing, and alternative flights becoming more luxurious and much cheaper on conventional aircraft, the business case for supersonic passenger flights became less viable. A fatal accident in 2000 (Concorde’s only such loss in three decades of flying) and the global demand slump after the September 11th attacks led to the aircraft retiring in 2003, and with it the era of supersonic transatlantic flight was over.

This spectacular replica of the world’s most iconic airliner is the work of BigPlanes of Flickr, whose incredible recreation of Air Force One appeared here at the start of the year. With a fully fitted mini-figure interior including kitchen, cockpit, and bathrooms, a working ‘droop nose’ (which allowed the pilots to see the runway as the plane approached), functioning landing gear, afterburners, and a wonderful brick-built classic British Airways livery, BigPlanes’ Concorde is one of the finest Lego aircraft that we have ever featured.

It’s a fitting tribute to one of the most ambitious engineering masterpieces of modern times, and there’s more to see of his phenomenal model at his photostream. Click the link above to head out over the Atlantic Ocean and go supersonic.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

DC-3C

Nope, not an annoying Star Wars droid (we’re not Bricknerd), but this gorgeous classic Douglas DC-3C airliner, recreated beautifully by previous bloggee Luis Pena. Built for display at Chile’s Air and Space International Fair alongside his previously featured models, Luis’ creation captures LAN-Chile’s iconic 1940s airliners – that were converted from military transports after the Second Wold War – in wonderful detail. If you’re one of our Chilean readers you can see Luis’ Douglas DC-3C along with his other historic Lego aircraft at FIDEA Santiago, and if not you can see all the imagery at his Flickr album by clicking here.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Chilean Aviation Pioneers


Luis Peña may have created the most niche Lego category of all time, and there are some bloody niche ones out there already. These three marvellous contraptions from the early days of flight come from his ‘Chilean Aviation Pioneers’ album, celebrating the first men to get airborne in Chile.

The Bristol M1.C (below) was Britain’s first combat monoplane. It was also Chile’s, as Britain delivered 12 M1.Cs to the country in lieu of two battleships that Chile had ordered from the UK, but that were commandeered by the Royal Navy to fight in the First World War before they could be delivered.

In South America the M1.C became the first aircraft in history to cross the Andes Mountains, whilst in Europe it became a successful air-racer after the war, back in the days when air racing was a thing. Just one example survives today, residing in a museum in Australia.

Luis’ second Chilean Aviation Pioneer (below) is the French-made Voisin Cellular biplane, which became the first plane ever to fly in Chile when it was piloted by César Copetta in 1910, some twenty year before the formation of the Chilean airforce.

Like the Bristol above the vintage aircraft has been superbly recreated in 1:40 (roughly mini-figure) scale, including the the guide wires, spindly wheels, and wooden frame and wing struts.

Luis’ Final Chilean Aviation Pioneer is the 1909 Blériot XI (below), a French design that became the first aircraft ever to fly across the English Channel, as well as the first heavier-than-air aircraft to be used in war, when it was deployed in Africa in 1910. The Blériot also became the first military aircraft to fly in Chile, in the hands of Captain Manuel Ávalos in 1913.

As wonderfully constructed as Luis’ other aircraft there’s more to see of the Blériot XI, plus the Bristol M.1C and Voisin Cellular and Luis’ ‘Chilean Aviation Pioneers album’ on Flickr. Click the link above to go flying over Chile sometime in the early twentieth century.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This is like, totally the best plane in the world. Just the best. Totally the best. Bigly.

“In fact it is so good you might think it was built by tiny little hands. So tiny. The inside allows me to fulfil my great and unmatched wisdom, with 24/7 access to Twitter, a machine that makes the best covfefe, the very best, and a bedroom with a golden shower. So very golden.” Donald Trump

Mini-figure Donald seems pretty pleased with his new wings, and so he should be; it measures 6ft long, has a 5½ foot wingspan, includes functioning landing gear, flaps, stairs, and complete interior and exterior lighting courtesy of Brickstuff.

BigPlanes of Flickr is the creator behind this astonishing build, and you can join the orange-in-a-toupee en-route to his next impeachment hearing via the link in the text above. Bigly.

Tagged , , , , , ,

MiGgy Christmas

As we approach Christmas here’s a build totally unsuited to the season of love and joy. But it is properly excellent.

The Mikoyan MiG-29 entered service in 1982 as one of the most competent fighters in the world. Designed for air-to-air combat against American fighters during the Cold War, the MiG-29 quickly adapted to become a multi-role aircraft, including air-to-surface and naval operations. It was also widely exported to a range of scummy dictatorships, with Iran, Cuba, Myanmar, Bulgaria, North Korea, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Iraq, Romania, Syria, and Yugoslavia all making purchases*. The fall of the Soviet Union has also meant that Russia is now openly hostile to some of the current operators of the MiG-29, which is a little odd.

The MiG-29 is also still in production today, making it one of the most successful fighter designs in history. Flickr’s Lennart C (aka Everblack) has added another to Mikoyan’s impressive production numbers with his superb Lego recreation of the MiG-29, complete with armaments and ground equipment.

Lennart’s replica of the iconic fighter captures the design brilliantly, with a multitude of cunning building techniques deployed to do so. Several further (and excellent) images of Lennart’s creation are available to see how he’s done it, and you can do just that at his MiG-29 album on Flickr via the link in the text above.

*Many of these are no longer scummy dictatorships.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: