After over 50 years of service, Boeing’s mighty 747 is starting to be retired from fleets around the world. The 747 first entered service with the now defunct Pan Am airline in 1970, after they commissioned Boeing to build a plane 2.5 times larger than their existing airliners.
The aim was to reduce expenses by a third per passenger to bring long-distance air travel to the masses, and the 747 fulfilled its brief so well that over 1,500 have been produced to date, with the design single-handedly defining the ‘jumbo jet’ era.
747 production finally ceases next year, as the industry has moved away from ‘jumbo’ aircraft in favour of smaller more fuel efficient airliners, with two-engined planes now capable of flying just as far as their ageing four-engined counterparts.
Anything that reduces air travel pollution is a good thing, but we’ll miss the old ‘jumbo’. Flickr’s saabfan2013 will too by the looks of it, and has created this neat brick-built homage to the 747 in double-decker configuration and Iberia livery.
There are more images of saabfan’s excellent Iberia Boeing 747 to see on Flickr, where you can also find a link to the model on LEGO Ideas should you want the opportunity to place the iconic Jumbo Jet on your desk too. Click the link above to take off.
This is an F/A-18 Super Hornet, and it is definitely not a car. But it is awesome, and it comes from Lennart Cort, who has recreated Maverick’s training aircraft from the upcoming Top Gun 2 movie in beautifully smooth fashion. There’s more of Lennart’s F/A-18 to see on Flickr – head into the skies over the Navada desert via the link above.
American Airlines have a great paint scheme. Both retro and futuristic, their shiny silver overlaid by a tri-colour stripe is surely one of the best liveries in the industry. This particular TLCB Writer was most excited to get on an AA aircraft for the first time, newly painted in the shiniest of silvers, before realising the interior was last refreshed in the American Civil War. It was a l.o.n.g flight…
Perhaps that’s a metaphor for much of American produce; shiny on the outside, shit underneath. Anyhoo, equally shiny, yet wonderful underneath too, is this spectacular Boeing 757-200 airliner from Flickr’s BigPlanes, complete with the iconic American Airlines livery and a fully-fitted mini-figure interior.
BigPlanes’ 757 also features beautifully working landing gear, moving flaps, and lighting, which – admittedly – worked fine on this writer’s real-world American Airlines flight, but the interior wasn’t a patch on this! There’s much more to see of BigPlanes incredible creation at his ‘American Airlines Boeing 757-200‘ album; click the link to head to the departure gate, before wishing you’d flown Virgin Atlantic instead.
Like the Dodo, and those pointy-beaked flappy dinosaurs that killed everyone in Jurassic World, the Osprey is dead. At least LEGO’s version is. Following a petition by the German Peace Society, the new 1,636 piece set due for release in 2020 has been cancelled, on the grounds of it being a military vehicle (which we suppose it is), a category that LEGO have steadfastly tried to avoid in the past.
LEGO’s statement on the cancellation reads;
The LEGO Technic Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey was designed to highlight the important role the aircraft plays in search and rescue efforts. While the set clearly depicts how a rescue version of the plane might look, the aircraft is only used by the military. We have a long-standing policy not to create sets which feature real military vehicles, so it has been decided not to proceed with the launch of this product.
We appreciate that some fans who were looking forward to this set may be disappointed, but we believe it’s important to ensure that we uphold our brand values.
Which probably means if you managed to get hold of a LEGO Technic 42113 Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey set before the cancellation it’ll soon be worth at least $1 billion to those nerdy collectors who never take the bricks out of the box.
We’re not sure what we think about this one. We were rather surprised that LEGO released a military aircraft as a set (even one with no weapons), but we’re more surprised that they’ve now cancelled it, given the huge amount of work (and money) that will have gone into developing it for sale.
Summertime is here at TLCB Towers, when skirts get shorter (the pedestrians outside, not TLCB staff), it doesn’t get dark until 10pm, and a select group of Elven ‘volunteers’ are fired over the walls of The LEGO Group’s HQ tasked with bringing back the second half of the year’s new Technic sets.
Those that successfully dodged LEGO’s guard dogs (who surely look forward to this biannual event), have returned with their finds which – thanks to the magic of the internet – we can share with you today! So here they are; the three brand new for H2 2020 LEGO Technic sets…
42112 Concrete Mixer Truck
The first new addition to the Technic line up is an interesting one, being hefty eight wheel concrete mixer truck that adopts Technic’s recent more detailed aesthetic and includes a brand new bespoke mixing drum piece. Whether this giant single part is a welcome addition or is at odds with the very point of LEGO is open to debate, but the model itself does look rather excellent, with almost Model Team levels of detail yet also retaining decent Technic functionality.
The front two axles offer mechanical steering via a roof mounted gear, whilst that new mixing drum can rotate either as the truck is pushed along or via a gear on the side, allowing it to ‘unload’ its contents all over the kitchen floor. 42112 also adds a few more dark blue pieces to range, with its attractive colouring enhanced with a few neat decals, and it’s expected to cost around €100 when it reaches stores in August.
42113 Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey
The second set to join the 2020 Technic line-up is as interesting as the first, and it adds another officially-licensed partnership to LEGO’s impressive list to date. It’s also a partnership we never expected, as this awesome looking tilt-rotor aircraft is based on the real (and amazing) Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey.
LEGO have dabbled with tilt-rotor aircraft only once to our knowledge, back with the 8082 Multi-Model Control set from 1993 (come to think of it, why don’t LEGO make multi-model sets anymore? They were great), making 42113 one of the most unusual and original Technic sets in years.
It’s also the first set to feature LEGO’s new ‘Powered Up’ battery box, which when combined with the ‘Powered Up’ Motor drives the set’s two rotors and (we hope) the tilting mechanism that converts the V-22 Osprey from helicopter to plane. An opening cargo door and working landing gear also feature, as do a few orange panels to break up the military grey.
42113 will place towards the top end of the Technic range upon its arrival (although the mid-point definitely seems to be shifting upwards), is aimed at ages 10+ (as per the 42112 Concrete Mixer Truck above), and is estimated to cost around €130 when it reaches stores later this year.
42114 6×6 Volvo Articulated Hauler
The final new addition to the 2020 line-up is another complicated and expensive set, meaning that all three of LEGO’s H2 sets cost upwards of €100. 42114 sits at the top of the trio, costing an enormous €250. It is itself rather large though, which helps off-set some of that eye-watering cost, and it brings an old favourite back to the range; Volvo Trucks.
Often the ‘B-Model’ (which is ironic, as all three of the new sets don’t seem to offer a B-Model at all), articulated haulers have appeared a few times in the Technic range, but never on this scale. The 42114 6×6 Volvo Articulated Hauler is huge, and packed with LEGO’s latest components, chief amongst which is the Control+ bluetooth brick, which enables the set to be operated remotely via a mobile phone or other bluetooth device.
42114 includes three of LEGO’s new ‘Powered Up’ motors, which deliver the all-wheel-drive, articulated steering, and power the massive linear actuator-driven tipping bucket. High levels of visual realism are present once again, with the set enhanced by both accurate decals and a level of detail that was only present on Model Team sets not that long ago. It’s an impressive combination, and one that has created a set that looks to be both a fine display piece and gloriously playable. But it still looks mightily expensive…
42114 is aimed at ages 11+ and joins 42112 and 42113 in stores later on this year. Better start saving. A lot!
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.
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.
“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.
This is in the ‘Town’ category? Wait, what? Yup, these incredible aircraft are indeed mini-figure scale, and have been built by the astonishingly talented (and suitably named) BigPlanes of Flickr. Each is a beautifully accurate replica of one of Boeing’s narrow-body aircraft, with the classic 707, 727 and more modern 737 all represented, each featuring a wonderful real-world livery from a time-appropriate airline.
They’ve been photographed outside superbly too, as they’re probably too large for indoor shots, and there’s a huge gallery of images available to see at BigPlanes’ photostream, including close up details and a few insights into how such amazing accuracy was achieved. Head to the skies via the link above, and you can hear today’s most excellent title song here.
From the depths of the ocean to the clouds in the sky now, although the route there may have been a little wobbly. This is a Boeing Stearman Kaydet PT-17, the U.S military’s default training aircraft of the 1930s. Flight was a risky business back then, and even more so with a seventeen-year-old student at the controls. This marvellous Technic recreation of the aeronautical equivalent of a driving school car is the work of Flickr’s Mihai Dreve and it’s been built as part of a competition currently underway at Eurobricks. Click here to find out more, and the link above to view the Kaydet PT-17’s complete album.
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.
Bell-Boeing’s ingenius V-22 Osprey is in fact a tilt-rotor aircraft, the first of its kind in the world. Powered by two mighty Rolls Royce AE engines unique to the V-22 (and therefore frighteningly expensive), the Osprey can both take off and land like a helicopter and cruise like a turboprop plane.
Conceived way back in 1983 the V-22 first flew in 1989, and just over half of the planned 400 aircraft have been built to date.
This superbly engineered Technic recreation of one of the world’s most remarkable aircraft has been built by Brickshelf’s leinhardt and it features folding rotors, working landing gear and an opening rear loading ramp. There are more images available on Brickshelf at the link above – click the link to take off.
It’s time for some American patriotism here at TLCB, and the supremely talented Orion Pax gives us just the model to do it! His brilliant mini-figure scale recreation of the President’s Boeing 747-200 – otherwise known as ‘Air Force One’ – can be found on Flickr.
Head on over via the link above. U. S. A! U. S. A!
This lovely Boeing Stearman PT-17 biplane is the work of mrutek on Flickr, and it’s our second song-titled creation of the day. The PT-17 was designed as a training aircraft for the US military in the 1930s and ’40s, with over 8,000 produced during the period. It’s therefore perhaps a bit of an unsung hero of the Second World War, as it was the tool of choice for training pilots who would later take to the skies to defend the Allies in far more war-like machinery.
Following the war the large surplus of PT-17s were sold to the civilian market, to be used as crop dusters, leisure aircraft, and in aerobatics display teams. As such, unlike many aircraft from the annals of history, many PT-17s survive and are in use today. Perhaps the little biplane, in a roundabout way, has received the recognition it deserved after all.