Tag Archives: U.S

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Lego Grumman E-1B Tracer

This may look like a propellor plane and the Starship Enterprise have had a horrendous accident, but it is in fact a Grumman E-1 Tracer early warning aircraft. One of the first carrier-based airborne detection planes the E-1 Tracer operated in the US Navy from 1958 to 1977, and if you think it looks strange here it looks even weirder with its wings folded for carrier storage.

This amazing recreation of the airborne oddity is the work of previous bloggee and TLCB Master MOCer Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist) and there’s more to see of his superb E-1 on Flickr by clicking here.

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Desert Storm

Lego Humvee

The first Gulf War – initiated when moustachioed douchebag Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, defied a UN resolution, and then gassed his own people – saw the US deploy its new ‘High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) in large numbers for the first time, as president George Bush Sr. and other world leaders responded to Iraq’s aggressions.

Twelve years later and George Bush Jr. decided to finish what his dad had started, and – for reasons we’re still not sure of – defied a UN resolution and attempted to overthrow the Hussein government. There was good reason in 1991, but in 2003? Er… 911? Nope. Weapons of mass destruction? Nope…

Whatever the reason behind Bush Jr.’s invasion, overthrow the Hussein government he did, and the Humvee played as pivotal a role in the outcome as it did in the liberation of Kuwait a decade or so earlier.

This superb 10-wide recreation of the iconic military vehicle comes from previous bloggee Manuel Cara, who has recreated the desert-spec Humvee in quite astonishing detail. All doors, the roof hatch and the tailgate open, and if anything what’s underneath is even more detailed than what you can see here.

Lego HumVee

You can head over to Manuel’s photostream via the link above for the complete gallery of images, and if you’re wondering what’s become of the Humvee another decade-and-a-half on from Iraq Round 2, well the old stalwart is finally due for replacement.

The Humvee is still doing service in Iraq though, as the U.S. left many units behind upon their withdrawal from the country to equip the new non-Saddam-run Iraqi military, and because shipping them back to the U.S would have been really expensive.

However the recent rise of Islamic State – due in no small part to the vacuum left as Saddam Hussein was removed from power – has meant that many Humvees have fallen into the wrong hands. There’s an irony there that would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

As we occasionally link to those picking up the pieces after conflict in posts such as this one, here’s are some organisations that do just that; Christian Aid, War Child, International Rescue Committee.

Lego HumVee

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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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