Tag Archives: Airplane

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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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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Not a Car

Lego Sky-Fi Aircraft

This is not a car. We’re not even completely sure it’s a plane. What we are sure of is that the inside of Vince_Toulouse‘s mind must be like one of those Salvador Dalí paintings with all the melting clocks. And that his F70 Double Faucon is gloriously, heroically, beautifully, weird. Join the madness on Flickr via the link above.

Lego Sky-Fi Aircraft

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Barn Stormer

Lego Plane Barn

A seemingly inevitable fixture in old-timey race movies, a car or plane will crash through a barn and emerge out the other side covered in hay and miraculously unharmed chickens, and followed by a wildly gesticulating farmer. Exactly as per this glorious action-shot by Flickr’s PigletCiamek, who has absolutely nailed it! Click the link above to follow the aeronautical shenanigans!

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Not a Car

Lego Mitsubishi Zero

But it was made by a car manufacturer, and very probably their most famous product too. This is of course a Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter from the Second World War, and it’s been neatly recreated in Lego form by James C of MOCpages. James’ updated build includes a mini-figure pilot, working landing gear, and custom decals, and there’s more to see on MOCpages via the link above.

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A Red Wolf

ta

The Ta-152 was the ultimate expression of Focke-Wulf’s Fw 190 fighter aeroplane of WW II. The particular version built by Maelven on Flickr is the Ta 152H, optimised for high altitude flight. The modifications included a pressurised cockpit, an increased wingspan and a Junkers Jumo 213E V12 engine with two speed, two stage supercharger and intercooler.

With methanol-water & nitrous-oxide boost, the engine could produce 2,050PS and made the Ta 152 one of the fastest piston engined aeroplanes of the war with 472mph at 41,000 feet. Maelven has displayed his model with its cowling open, displaying the mighty engine. What was the aircraft like to fly? This was described by the world’s most experienced test pilot and fluent German speaker, Capt. Eric Brown RN is this article. For more views of Maelven’s model, click this link.

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5591 Mach II Red Bird Review

Lego 5591 Mach II Red Bird

The Lego Car Blog Review My Set Competition is drawing to a close, but we have just enough time to squeeze in a couple more reader reviews before the end of the year deadline. Today’s set review comes from a TLCB reader, and also one of our Master MOCers, the brilliant Andrea Lattanzio aka Norton74, and things are getting decidedly 1990s. Over to Andrea…

This Red Bird is ready to fly.

My love affair with the set No. 5591, also called ‘Mach II Red Bird’, started during a very cold Sunday morning of a past winter when I saw the big truck displayed on a flea market counter. I immediately bought it even though a few yellow pieces were replacing the missing originals, red train doors in place of the white ones, and other things like that were afflicting it. But for the price it was on offer for I got it with no hesitation! Without difficulty I replaced the incorrect parts with the right ones and the set is now restored in all its glory alongside the other Model Team sets in my collection.

Let’s step back. The Red Bird is the eighth set of the Model Team series, released by LEGO in 1994. Model Team was the large scale vehicle line that LEGO produced from 1986 until 1999, with a total of 15 sets, plus a re-release of the 5541 Hot Rod in 2004 as part of the Legends series.

Model Team vehicles were characterized by realism, although whilst there is no doubt they were detailed and charming models the techniques used are fairly basic by today’s standards.

Lego Model Team Range

5591 Red Bird is a big set and it’s rich in pieces, an impression I had the first time I looked at it. Despite the basic colours – white, red and black – the livery is really spot on, reminding me of the “B.J. and the bear” colours. The wide usage of stickers makes the set more appealing too.

The set is composed by three parts: the tractor truck, the low loader semi-trailer and the Red Bird jet aircraft. Let’s take a look.

The tractor truck is probably the best part of the set. It’s based on a typical US truck with the cab behind the engine and a long front nose. The truck has a very well balanced design and it’s rich in details, among others: side mirrors, windshield wipers, opening doors and many auxiliary lights, with the side ladders located on the lateral fuel tanks.

You can open the hood to reveal the cool looking engine which was probably influenced by the first LEGO Model Team engine ever, found in the 5580 Highway Rig. The hood is wedge shaped too, which I really like as it helps to make the front of the truck more streamlined. 5591’s interior is quite simple featuring two yellow seats, a steering wheel and the dashboard constituted of two printed slopes. The front wheels can steer by turning a knob located on the roof and the Hand of God control works well – all good so far.

However, the back of the truck is a little bit poor without a realistic fifth wheel and with a simple bumper featuring only rear red lights. We’d have to wait until 1996 for the 5571 Black Cat to see a decent rear to a truck with a convincing fifth wheel.

Lego 5591 Mach II Red Bird

The second part of the set is the semi-trailer, which is quite simple and it perhaps looks more Technic than Model Team. Naturally the trailer can be hooked unto the truck by a plate modified with a towball socket. Continue reading

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