Tag Archives: Airplane

Mile High Club

Lego Technic Aircraft

Aircraft are not often created in Technic form. Now we’re a car blog so that’s really a problem for us, but it is a shame, as their technical features are perfect for the principles of Technic. A case proved by previous bloggee Lipko, who has constructed this wonderful two seat light aircraft and packed it with ingenious technical functions.

Lego Technic Plane

Lipko’s plane features realistic working ailerons, tail rudder, elevators and flaps, each controllable via the cockpit and/or a Hand of God mechanism. Up front is a flat-4 engine with propellor pitch control, there’s retractable landing gear with a steering front wheel, an opening canopy and engine cover, and a clever ‘manual propeller drive’ that allows the propellor and engine to be spun.

There’s much more to see of Lipko’s excellent aircraft via both Eurobricks and Brickshelf, plus you can watch all those features in action courtesy of the YouTube video below. Take a look and join the Mile High Club via the links in the text above.

YouTube Video

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Flying the Eastern Front

Lego Vintage Aircraft

This delightful scene of calm in the midst of a Great War era conflict comes from Tino Poutianen of Flickr, who has created a lovely generic Allied fighter with its two dashing crew casually catching up on news from home whilst a pig steals some lunch.

Sadly we doubt they or the pig will be around this time next year. The early years of wartime flight were terrifically dangerous, and pigs are, well… really tasty. For now all is well though, and happily it’s this scene that’s been preserved in brick by Tino. See more at the link.

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Meet the Fokkers

Lego Fokker D.VII

Once the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world, Fokker are now perhaps best known for supplying the German Army during the first World War. The company wasn’t actually German though, instead being founded by Dutchman Anthony Fokker in 1912 whilst he studied in Germany, before moving back to the Netherlands in 1919.

The company that once supplied Germany then fought against them in World War 2, before the Germans invaded the Netherlands and requisitioned Fokker’s factories.

The bombing by the Allies that followed completely destroyed Fokker’s manufacturing facilities, and with a glut of cheap ‘lightly used’ aircraft available at the end of the war the company barely survived. But survive it did, right up until 1996 when the might of Boeing and Airbus finally put an end to Fokker aircraft production.

These two wonderful models depict Fokker in their glory days, when they designed arguably the best fighter aircraft in the world for the German Army during the First World War (and we won’t begrudge them that as the First World War was, as previously explained here, completely pointless).

Built by Dread Pirate Wesley they are a Fokker D.VII and Fokker Eindecker E.IV, both recreated (and photographed) beautifully in mini-figure scale. There’s more to see of each aircraft (plus many more) at Wesley’s brilliant ‘Lego Aircraft’ Flickr album – click the link to take off.

Lego Fokker Eindecker

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Tilt!

Lego Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV) XC-142

From one weird aircraft to another today, only this one was real (sort of). Built in the 1960s, the Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV) XC-142 was an experimental tilt-rotor vertical take-off/landing aircraft, and it really did look as odd as it does here.

It worked too, with five prototypes performing successful test flights in the mid-1960s. However with four 2,850bhp engines the XC-142 probably wasn’t a particularly fuel efficient way to transport 4,000kgs of military stuff, and thus the project didn’t prove financially viable, being shelved in 1966.

Today just one prototype XC-142 survives, but Henrik Jensen has added another with his rather excellent recreation of the tilting oddity. There’s more to see at Henrik’s Flickr photostream and on MOCpages – click the links to tilt the table.

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Swordfish

Lego Sky-Fi Swordfish

Not the 2001 thriller in which Halle Berry was paid extra to get her norks out, but this; the AR-31 Swordfish seaplane, so called because it looks precisely nothing like a swordfish.

Built from deep within the mind of previous bloggee Jon Hall there’s much more to see (and an intriguing backstory to read) at the Swordfish’s Flickr album. Click the link above to make the jump.

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Black Panther

Lego A-6E Intruder VA-35 Black Panthers

Jungle cat, 1960’s political movement, comic-book hero (and slightly overrated movie), and U.S Navy attack squadron, the name ‘Black Panther’ has seen varied use over the years. It’s the latter usage we’re focussing on here, and the squadron that adopted the name from the 1930s until its disbandment in 1995.

The Black Panthers were a carrier-based air squadron that flew combat missions in the Second World War, Korean War, Vietnam War and the First Iraq War, with all of those bar the first using this aircraft, the Grumman A-6 Intruder. This spectacular recreation of the A-6 comes from Master MOCer and TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist), who has constructed the Intruder in A6-E Black Panthers specification in glorious detail.

With folding wings, a sliding canopy, custom decals and a full armament there’s a whole lot more to see. Take a look at Ralph’s A6-E Intruder Flickr album by clicking here, where over twenty high quality image are available.

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B is for Bomber

Lego Avro Lancaster B Mk.1

It’s the 3rd of January and we still haven’t posted a car. No matter though, because just look at today’s find! This jaw-droppingly beautiful creation is a near-perfect replica of the Avro Lancaster B heavy bomber in Mk.1 specification, as built by Plane Bricks of Flickr.

The Lancaster was the RAF’s primary bomber during the Second World War, with over 7,000 built from 1941 to ’46. The aircraft was powered by four Rolls Royce Merlin liquid-cooled V12 engines, each making well over 1,200bhp, and was capable of carrying the largest payload of any bomber during the war, including the 10,000kg ‘Grand Slam Earthquake’ bombs and the amazing ‘bouncing bombs‘ used to take out German dams.

Lancaster bombers completed around 156,000 sorties during the Second World War, dropping bombs totalling over 600,000 tons, destroying dams, ships, bridges, railways, and armaments. The aircraft were also deployed to drop food aid over occupied Holland, preventing the starvation of thousands of people (a fine hour indeed), but also to indiscriminately fire-bomb the cities Hamburg and Dresden, resulting in their complete destruction and the deaths over 65,000 civilians (a less fine hour…).

Almost half of all the Lancasters built were lost during the war, with only thirty-five completing more than a hundred missions. Today seventeen Avro Lancasters survive of which two are airworthy, flying in Canada and the UK. For readers further afield Plane Brick’s stunning recreation of the Mk.1 Avro Lancaster offers a chance to see this war-defining bomber in incredible detail. With custom decals, superb brick-built camouflage, working land-gear, and a fully detailed interior, Plane Bricks’ mini-figure scale Avro Lancaster B is definitely worth a closer look. Join the fight on Flickr by clicking here.


Lego Avro Lancaster B Mk.1

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Fly Bavaria

Lego Douglas DC-3

It’s a grey January winter’s day here at TLCB Towers, and we’re already pondering sunnier climes. So too is Vaionaut of Flickr it seems, having built this wonderful Douglas DC-3 airliner. Launched in the 1930s the American Douglas DC-3 revolutionised air travel, becoming the default airliner for decades thereafter, and is – incredibly – still in use today. Vaionaut’s beautifully built model is pictured here in German Bavaia livery (complete with a neat 1972 Munich olympics decal) and there’s more to see of his gorgeous creation at his photostream. Click the link above to take to the skies.

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Corsair Island

Lego Vought F4U-1A Corsair

This magnificent aircraft is a World War II Vought F4U-1A Corsair, pictured at Ondonga Airfield in the Solomon Islands in February 1944. It comes from crash_cramer of Flickr who has built this spectacular scene for the upcoming Great Western Brick Show. The fighter itself is one of the finest Lego aircraft that we’ve ever featured and there are loads more images to see at crash_cramer’s photostream. Head to the island via the link above.

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Tracer

Lego Grumman E-1B Tracer

This may look like a propellor plane and the Starship Enterprise have had a horrendous accident, but it is in fact a Grumman E-1 Tracer early warning aircraft. One of the first carrier-based airborne detection planes the E-1 Tracer operated in the US Navy from 1958 to 1977, and if you think it looks strange here it looks even weirder with its wings folded for carrier storage.

This amazing recreation of the airborne oddity is the work of previous bloggee and TLCB Master MOCer Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist) and there’s more to see of his superb E-1 on Flickr by clicking here.

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Super Sabre

Lego North American F-100D Super Sabre

This is a North American F-100D Super Sabre, the U.S Air Force’s first fighter capable of supersonic speed in level flight. Launched in 1954 it’s hard to believe that the Second World War had ended just 9 years earlier in which planes looked like this.

The F-100D pictured here replicates one of the 58 planes that were supplied to the Royal Danish Airforce as part of the Military Assistance Programme after Work War Two. Denmark operated the Super Sabre for 23 years before retiring the aircraft for more modern designs.

This beautifully built recreation of one of the Danish F-100D Super Sabres comes from previous bloggee Henrik Jensen and you can read more about his build and further details on the real aircraft at both Flickr and MOCpages.

Lego North American F-100D Super Sabre

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Let’s Go Fly a Kite

Lego Vintage Aircraft

The year is 1889, and inventors Pierre and Jean are about to launch their brand new heavier-than-air-powered-flying-machine on its maiden journey! Photographer Jacques is back to capture the moment for the newspapers, whilst Brave Volunteer No.6 ready to take his shot at making aviation history in the pilot’s seat.

Flickr’s Tino Poutiainen is the builder behind this eccentric scene, which pre-dates the world’s first successful heavier-than-air-powered-flight by some fourteen years (it’d be embarrassing to think this was actually from the early days of manned flight wouldn’t it?), so we can all guess the fate of Brave Volunteer No.6…

Still, Pierre and Jean are adamant his death won’t be in vain. Welcome No.7… this time we’re sure we’ve cracked it!

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Island Hopping

Lego ATR 42 Aircraft

Anyone who’s island hopped around Europe or Asia will likely know the French ATR 47/72 aircraft well. With over 1,500 in service the design is the default turboprop for shot haul jumps. This impeccably-built commissioned replica of the ATR 42 comes from Flickr’s BrickMonkey and you can take a flight at his photostream via the link.

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Sky Warrior

Lego US Navy A-3B Skywarrior

This amazing aircraft is a 1950s US Navy Douglas A-3B Skywarrior carrier-based nuclear bomber and its purpose was… well, chillingly obvious. Thankfully the Skywarrior’s nuclear bombs were never used in combat, as – perhaps worryingly – the US and the other nuclear-armed nations managed to shrink their nuclear bombs so that they no longer needed to be carried on bombers like the A-3B, but could fit on conventional fighter aircraft. Yay progress!

Such advancement saw the A-3Bs re-fitted as air-to-air refusing tankers to service those fighters, a role they fulfilled right up until the early 1990s, last seeing action in the first Gulf War of 1991.

This spectacular recreation of Douglas A-3B Skywarrior comes from plane building extraordinaire Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad Physicist who has recreated the historic bomber in glorious detail. With folding wing-tips for carrier storage, working landing gear, and an accompanying aircraft tug there’s lots more to see. Head over to Ralph’s photostream via the link above for all the images, plus you can read Ralph’s interview here at The Lego Car Blog as part of the Master MOCers Series by clicking here.

Lego US Navy A-3B Skywarrior

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Bee Gees

Lego GEE BEE Aircraft

Sorry, we mean Gee Bees. An important distinction that avoids you having to hear this. Founded in 1925, the Granville Brothers Aircraft company built just twenty-four aircraft until their bankruptcy eight years later, but they left one hell of mark. In the ground mostly, with a trail of fire behind it, but we’ll come on to that in a bit…

Designed primarily as sports cars for the sky, Granville Brothers’ aircraft excelled at air racing in the ’20s and ’30s, winning multiple trophy races and speed records. Known as ‘Gee Bees’ the outrageous designs looked like caricatures, with absurdly short fuselages, tiny control surfaces, and hot-rod-esque engines.

The superb Lego recreations of two of Granville Brothers’ designs pictured here come from Volker Brodkorb of Flickr, and whilst they may look like exaggerated cartoons, their real-life counterparts really did look like this. Well, until they inevitably crashed of course…

The Gee Bee Model Z Super Sportster (above) was constructed in just five weeks in 1931, with the smallest possible airframe built around the largest possible engine. The Model Z’s enormous Pratt & Witney supercharged ‘Wasp’ radial engine gave it well over 500bhp, powering it to victory in every race it entered, despite it being ‘tricky’ to fly. Later that year Granville Brothers re-engineered the Model Z with an even bigger 750bhp Wasp Senior engine in at attempt at the Landplane Speed Record, when tragically a wing failure sent the aircraft spinning into the ground in a ball of flame, killing air-racer Lowell Bayles.

The next year Granville Brothers Aircraft built a successor to the destroyed Model Z, the R-1 Super Sportster (below). With a 25ft wingspan but just 17ft long, the R-1 was if anything even more dangerous to fly than the Model Z. Nevertheless the R-1 took victory in the Thompson Trophy in 1932 and the Landplane Speed Record the same year, before its inevitable fatal crash in 1933. Granville Brothers Aircraft re-built the wreck whereupon it crashed almost immediately.

Of the twenty-four aircraft built by Granville Brothers almost every single one was destroyed in a crash, with almost a dozen fatalities. By the mid-’30s the effects of the Great Depression – and a reputation as killers – meant that orders for new Super Sportster aircraft dried up, and the Granville Brothers Aircraft company filed for bankruptcy in 1934.

A few replica Gee Bees have been constructed since, however the Granville family have only shared the original designs with museums under the promise that the recreated aircraft will never be flown. Which is probably a good thing. Even so, we’ll stick with these fantastic and non-lethal Lego replicas. There’s more to see of each, plus Volker’s other planes, by clicking here.

Lego GEE BEE Aircraft

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