Tag Archives: Airplane

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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Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird | Picture Special

Lego SR-71 Blackbird

First flying in 1964 the amazing Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird is still the world’s highest flying and fastest manned air-breathing aircraft, despite retiring back in 1999. With a top speed in excess of Mach 3 (that’s over 3,500km/h!), the Blackbird could fly higher and faster than even missiles.

Lego SR-71 Blackbird

Such incredible altitude and speed meant the SR-71 needed to be built from very exotic materials, specifically titanium; which made up 92% of the airframe. The U.S. didn’t have access to titanium itself, so had to source it from the USSR, with which the Blackbird was of course designed to fight during the Cold War. A complicated route via fictitious organisations and third-world economies delivered the newly acquired Soviet titanium ore to the U.S, where it was used to build a plane to spy on the Soviets… isn’t military history fun!

Lego SR-71 Blackbird

In total thirty two Lockheed SR-71 Blackbirds were constructed, with the final two being used by NASA until the late 1990s. During a long operational life twelve aircraft were lost to accidents, but thanks to the SR-71’s ludicrous speed and primitive radar-defying stealth technology not a single plane was downed by enemy action.

Lego SR-71 BlackbirdToday the surviving Blackbirds reside in America’s aerospace museums (or at NASA), but we’ve got one more to add to the SR-71 alumni, thanks to Flickr’s Plane Bricks and this awe-inspiring Lego replica of the world’s most spectacular aircraft. Put simply Plane Bricks’ stunning recreation of the SR-71 Blackbird is one of the most complete and impressive Lego aircraft that we’ve ever come across, with a suitably extensive gallery of superb imagery available on Flickr. Click the link in the text above to reach Mach 3.3 and take a look.

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Once in a Blue Moon

Lego Sky-Fi P98 Nemesis

We know even less about sky-fi than we do about sci-fi, so apologies to any sky-fi fans out there – this post is going skip all our usual storytelling guff and get straight to the point. This creation is really pretty. Built by sky-fi extraordinaire Jon Hall this dusty blue ‘P-98 Nemesis’ is the latest in his long line of wonderfully creative sky-fi aircraft. There’s more of the model to see at Jon’s photostream where you can also find a wealth of other superb airborne contraptions. Click the link above to take off.

Lego Sky-Fi P98 Nemesis

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The Most Beautiful Model…

Lego Supermarine Spitfire

…of the most beautiful aircraft ever built. This is of course the thunderous Supermarine Spitfire, recreated in astonishing realism in Mk. 1a form by Lennart C of Flickr. There really aren’t words to do the photos justice, so we’ll get straight to the link. Click here to see more of this incredible creation.

Lego Supermarine Spitfire

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Fight for Your Right

The current run of nostalgia and the run of aeroplane builds continues here at The Lego Car Blog towers. During this writer’s late teens it was quite normal to see Volkswagens bereft of their iconic badges and the cause was the Beastie Boys. Brick Flag has created the crumpled tail end of a Boeing 727 that featured on the group’s classic album “Licensed to Ill“. Click here to see unedited photos of the model, including the neat rock-work on the red cliff the ‘plane has hit or here to travel back to the 1980s again.

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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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Flight of Fantasy

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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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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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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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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