Two things are often better than one. Or so the internet would have us believe. Subscribing to this school of thought is Thomas of Tortuga, whose ‘B-48 Albatross’ heavy bomber features not just a twin boom tail, but two fuselages, two gun turrets, two cockpits, and engines facing in two directions. See double on Flickr via the link above.
This is the Northrop XB-35, one of America’s amazing ‘flying wing’ experimental aircraft that would, eventually, lead to the modern B-2 Spirit ‘Stealth Bomber’.
But 1946 was a long time before the B-2, and the ‘flying wing’ idea was still in its infancy. The much smaller N-9M proved the concept enough (despite crashing quite a lot) for Northrop to build a version three times larger, the XB-35, initially powering it with four huge contra-rotating ‘pusher’ propellors driven by Wasp R-4360 radial engines.
The vibrations were awful though, so as the design entered the jet age it was upgraded with eight turbojets, becoming the YB-49 – although the aircraft was still far slower than conventionally winged bombers like the B-47.
It’s the original mid-’40s propellor-powered XB-35 we have here though, created in astonishing detail in 1:40 (mini-figure!) scale by Flickr’s BigPlanes. The detail is beautiful on the inside too, with a complete four-seat cockpit and accurate landing gear underneath.
BigPlanes’ incredible creation is due to go on show at the 2021 Virginia Brickfair event (COVID-19 depending), but you can see it via the spectacular imagery at his ‘XB-35 Flying Wing’ album on Flickr.
Click the link above to take to the skies c1946, and watch the horizon go all blurry and your tea jump out of your mug as four enormous contra-rotating props start shaking the world’s weirdest wing to bits.
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.
Is there a more ironically named aircraft than this? The Corvair B-36 ‘Peacemaker’ was introduced in 1948 as an intercontinental strategic nuclear bomber, originally conceived to bomb Germany from the U.S should Britain fall during the Second World War.
With the largest wingspan of any combat aircraft ever built (a truly enormous 230ft), the B-36 could travel for 10,000 miles carrying a nearly 40,000kg payload and is still the largest mass-produced piston engined aircraft in history, a title it will likely always hold.
Those piston engines were often not sufficient however, and four turbojets were later added to help the giant bomber get airborne. They didn’t help enough though, and the arrival of the jet age meant the Peacemaker was phased out just ten years after its introduction, replaced by the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress with all bar five of the nearly four-hundred aircraft built scrapped.
This amazing recreation of the short-lived yet still slightly terrifying nuclear-carrying monstrosity is the work of previous bloggee BigPlanes, whose magnificent Boeing 747 Air Force One appeared here last week. BigPlanes’ astonishing B-36D measures 6ft across, includes a complete mini-figure scale cockpit, and features functioning bomb bays, and there’s loads more to see at Big’s photostream via the link above.
Airlines never seem to offer fruit on board. Little packets of pretzels yes. Fruit no. Or nothing at all if you’re flying budget, although there will be a catalogue containing a $4,000 watch. No matter, because the aptly-named Big Planes of Flickr has some serious in-flight fruit for us today. This is the Northrop N-9M ‘Flying Wing’, it really did exist and it really did look like a giant banana.
The N-9M was an experimental aircraft constructed in the early 1940s to test the theory behind an ultra efficient single wing bomber design. Four planes were built, and they crashed a lot. The idea worked though, and a pair of Flying Wings three times the size of the N-9M were constructed to further test the design.
Unfortunately the design really needed computer control to keep it airborne, which was incredibly limited at the time, and the projects were shelved; all but one of the four N-9Ms built were scrapped. The fourth was left to deteriorate, but following a funding campaign it returned to the air in 1993 after two decades of restoration work, touring airshows and events across America. Sadly it too crashed in April of this year, killing the pilot and destroying the last N-9M in existence.
Big Planes’ beautifully built mini-figure scale replica of the Northrop N-9M is now as close as you’re likely to get to seeing what this incredible aircraft was like, however the design direction continued and – once computers caught up with the ambition of Northrop’s 1940s engineers – a flying wing did finally take to the skies; the amazing Northrop-Grumman B-2 Spirit ‘Stealth Bomber‘.
There’s more to see of Big Planes’ brilliant Northrop N-9M at his photostream on Flickr. Click the link above, open a little pack of pretzels, and enjoy the images.
Also an appropriate title for yesterday’s reveal of the new 76139 1989 Batmobile set, Jeremy Williams‘ ‘Raptor Fighter-Bomber’ is about to turn someone’s day a whole lot more orange. To quote a brilliant Simpson’s line; “There might be a slight ringing in your ears… fortunately you’ll be no-where near them”. There’s more to see of Jeremy’s killer build on Flickr – head to his photostream via the link above to push the big red button.
MOCpages isn’t quite dead yet. Most of our Elves stationed at the once-default creation sharing site have been redeployed elsewhere as – thanks to the site’s frequent outages – the community has all but departed it. However, proving that gems can still be discovered in the abandoned mine is yamato yukimasa, making his TLCB debut with this wonderful six-engine twin-boom bomber. It’s a huge creation featuring some lovely building techniques and there’s more to see on MOCpages (if it’s working of course) via the link above. Take a look whilst we feed a very hungry Elf that’s thankful to have finally come home…
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.
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.
Named after Major General William Lendrum “Billy” Mitchell, the North American B-25 Mitchell was one of the most prolific bombers of the Second World War, with almost 10,000 units produced and operating in every theatre of the war. The B-25 saw service until as late as 1979, giving it a four-decade long role in the skies, and this superb Lego version is a by Flickr’s Dornbi fitting tribute. There’s lots more to see at Dornbi’s photostream – click the link above to take off.
“…I’ll be gone-gone-gone.”; just like most of this B-25J’s brothers have gone to the great hangar in the sky.
Despite a production run of nearly 10,000, which would be impressive for many of the marques of car that we feature here, there are fewer than 50 B-25 Mitchells left flying today. The B-25 first flew in 1940 and finally retired from military service in 1979. Being an unglamorous, workhorse, medium bomber, the B-25 didn’t get the fame of the fighters or the heavies such as the B-17 or B-24. However, it was famous for being flown off an aircraft carrier in Lt Col Jimmy Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo. Modern audiences will know it as the aircraft of Capt Yossarian in Joseph Heller’s classic “Catch-22”.
The version featured here was built by Florida Shooter on MOCpages. He has built it in the markings of the 499th Bomber Squadron – “Bats Outta Hell” and we like how the squadron’s distinctive nose art has been brick-built, rather than applied with stickers. The particular mark is the B-25J2, with the “strafer nose”. Click this link to view the detailed photos and see if you can spot all 18 of the aircraft’s Browning M2 machine guns.
Our Elves are getting lazy. Five builds from two builders in two days… but we guess we can’t blame them for builders uploading their wares in batches. And we like beating the Brothers Brick, so they know we’re going to blog their finds! Previously blogged Kenneth Vaessen returns just a day after we featured his spectacular Panavia Tornado with two more beautiful builds. Apparently good weather in his home country means now is the time to take photos!
First up (above) is this glorious Dassault Mirage IV-P, as used as a fighter-bomber by the French Air Force since the late 1960s as part of France’s nuclear deterrent. Its opposing foe during the cold war is pictured below, Russia’s (at the time) formidable Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23M. Both these aircraft have since been superseded by their descendants, and are in action in the skies over a very messy Middle East, with France strategically targeting the scumbags in Islamic State, and Russia seemingly targeting anyone who isn’t President Assad.
The are lots more stunning images available at Kenneth’s Flickr photostream – click the links above to be taken to the gallery for each model.
British warplanes have the best names. Names such as Vampire, Hurricane, Typhoon, Lightning, and this, the awesome Panavia Tornado. Still a mainstay of the RAF and Luftwaffe, the Tornado has been in service since the late ’70s with nearly 1,000 produced during a twenty year production run. This outstanding Lego version of the iconic variable-sweep wing multi-role combat aircraft has been built by Flickr’s Kenneth Vaessen, and is resplendent in German Naval strike specification, complete with Kormoran anti-ship missiles. There’s lots more to see at Kenneth’s photostream and it’s well worth your click – Go supersonic via the link above.
With things is Iraq and Syria getting ever more serious thanks to the dicks in Daesh, bombing by the U.S and its allies is looking increasingly likely. Kenneth Vaessen’s enormous 17,000-piece B-2 stealth bomber joins two of its USAF stablemates courtesy of fellow Dutchman and TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg. You can see more of Kenneth’s incredible B-2 and Ralph’s complimenting builds on Flickr – click here to see all the photos, and here to learn more about the Syrians and Iraqis caught in the crossfire, some of whom could be LEGO fans just like us.
This spectacular replica of the Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) Nimitz-Class aircraft carrier was discovered on Flickr today. It’s been built by Jon and Catherine Stead and it’s… well, bloody massive!
The real Theodore Roosevelt was launched in 1984, measuring over 1,000ft long and weighing over 100,000 tons. The ship first saw operational duty in 1991’s ‘Operation Desert Storm’ during the first Gulf War, the same year as today’s second US Navy-themed post ended its active service.
The LTV A-7E Corsair II first entered service during the Vietnam War in the late 1960s, flying until it was retired in 1991. Over 1,500 Corsair II aircraft were manufactured between 1965 and 1984, with 98 lost during the Vietnam War.
The neat carrier-based A-7E Corsair II pictured below has been constructed by Flickr’s Dornbi and there’s more to see of his recreation at the link above.
The Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) carrier is currently in operation off the Yemen coast as part of a weapons interception programme. You can read more about the people who are being affected by the ongoing Yemen Crisis by visiting the Red Cross Yemen Crisis page here.