Today is Remembrance Sunday in The Lego Car Blog’s home nation, and never has a Lego image seemed more beautifully suited.
Henrik Jensen‘s wonderful dogfight between a German Fokker Eindecker EIII and his previously featured British Airco DH2 reminds us that the First World War claimed an enormous amount of life on both sides, and was the first war where conflict rather than disease caused the majority of the loss.
The war itself was pretty pointless, yet around 6 million Allied and 4 million Axis Powers servicemen lost their lives, along with an estimated 2 million civilians. We remember them all, including those our forebears fought against.
This odd contraption is an Airco DH.2, an early First World War fighter aircraft designed by legendary aeronautical pioneer Sir Geoffrey de Havilland.
The early years of flight were dangerous ones, with poor pilot training and machines pushing the boundaries of aeronautics almost continuously. This meant a huge incident rate (and the Airco DH.2 gaining the nickname in today’s title), but once the Royal Flying Corps were familiar with the design the DH.2 proved to be more than a match for its German counterparts, being highly manoeuvrable and relatively easy to fly.
The single Lewis machine gun mounted up front originally swung from side to side, but as pilots found it easier to aim with their aircraft than the gun it became fixed to the cockpit. Behind the pilot was a French 100bhp Gnome Monosoupape nine-cylinder radial engine, mounted there in ‘pusher’ configuration as unlike the Germans the British hadn’t yet developed a synchronisation system to allow a gun to fire between spinning propeller blades.
The Airco DH.2 had a ridiculously short yet successful career, destroying 44 enemy aircraft in The Battle of the Somme. Such was the pace of development in the First World War that just a year later the arrival of new German fighters meant DH.2 was outclassed and replaced by the DH.5, which itself only lasted a single year in combat operation before the S.E.5 arrived to see out the conflict, by this time looking far more like a plane we would recognise today.
This neat mini-figure scale recreation of the Airco DH.2 comes from Henrik Jensen, and it captures the aircraft’s weirdness rather well. With such a short life-span there are no surviving original DH.2s today, so this may be as close as we’ll get to seeing one – take a look at Henrik’s photostream via the link above, or at MOCpages here.
The Swedes; famous for their flatpack furniture, attractive blondes, and – as we can see here – their fighter aircraft. This is a 1950 Saab 21R, and it does look a bit like someone read the instructions upside-down when they opened the box to assemble it. Fear not though, it is supposed to look like that, and being one of the very earliest jet-powered aircraft the Saab’s twin-boom tail design was actually a common solution back in the late ’40s and early ’50s.
The Saab 21R was developed from the earlier piston-engined Saab 21 as an attack aircraft to help Sweden quickly catch up with the other airforces’ jet-engined counterparts. British jet maker de Havilland supplied their ‘Goblin II’ engine from the magnificent Vampire fighter, and Saab shoved it in the back of their 21 to jump them into the jet-age, making the 21R one of only two aircraft in history to be retro-fitted with a jet engine.
The 21R saw service for only six short years before it was replaced by the Saab 29 Tunnan, which was designed as a jet from the outset, and only around 60 were made. Nevertheless we quite like the 21R – shoving a much more powerful engine into something clearly never designed for it is the hot rodder’s way!
This brilliant Lego recreation of Saab’s ’50s airborne hot rod is the work of previous bloggee Stefan Johansson, and it’s a wonderfully intricate build. You can see more of it and Stefan’s other historic Saab aircraft at his Flickr photostream – click the link above to take off.
We’re mostly a Lego car blog here at the, er… Lego Car Blog, but occasionally we do take a look at the other forms of transport available to the Lego builder. Today our Elves discovered recreations of two of the most famous aircraft to come out of Britain, the De Havilland Mosquito light bomber and the beautiful Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde supersonic airliner.
The World War 2 Mosquito is the work of building-team Jon and Catherine Stead, whilst the gorgeous Concorde model comes from newcomer Table Top Models. Click the links above to see all the photos.
Our second LDD creation in as many weeks! What’s going on? The Elves are pretty grumpy about this as they don’t like digital creations as a rule. Plus this isn’t even a car, so they’re doubly annoyed.
This amazing digitally rendered creation is in fact a 1941 De Havilland Mosquito fast bomber, one of the most important aircraft for the Allies throughout World War Two. Built almost entirely from wood, the Mosquito was one of the fastest aircraft in the world at the time. Not just fast for a bomber, but faster than many fighters too. Digital Lego specialist Peter Blackert (aka Lego911) is the builder, and he’s got a rapidly growing portfolio of famous aircraft on Flickr. You can see more of the Mosquito and his other planes via his excellent photostream.
And if you’re of an Elvish persuasion, don’t worry – we’ve got a busy day that’s back to normal cars (mostly) after this post!