|Project by TDog||posted 04-09-2013 04:45 AM||1203 views||11 times favorited||6 comments|
This is a simple classic airplane I built by researching several photos on the internet and deciding what lines look great, what design is mostly basic and straight forward, and what parts should be left off because of possible smaller part breaks with heavy children’s play. The CLASSIC is what I came up with. The first model is the simple light colored pine plane. I mortised the wings and tail and joined them with two small screws and one fit peg reinforced with wood glue.
I worked more on the proportions of the second model which has a very defined darker wood grain. The mortises are basically the same however, I went with a more traditional joinery approach; 100% mortised and pegged with all wooden joinery and zero screws or other materials.
Durability was the question as I am intending these to be given to children at the “plane fascination age” who will not doubt toss these across the yard, dig with them in the dirt, and who knows what else. Durability was my number one goal. Looks and aesthetics were second.
THE TEST: Well, I took one to my son’s 6th Birthday party at our local park. Several of the kids “flew” the plane across the park and into the ground for a long time for a game of catch which was fine of course. The like it. (a free focus group) To my surprise, “no breaks” Knock on wood. So, I am going with this design for now until I have a report or customer service concern with breaks or cracks under normal use…whatever that means for a 6 year old. Hee hee. Im making many and providing replacements upon breaks under “normal” conditions. I’m sure they would not make good car jacks or door stops but, you know people. LOL
I left off many detailed parts such as landing gear, because the plane is meant to be played with and ultimately provoke imagination and pretend play, plus the smaller parts tend to break off first. Kids are busy, they have to have all their play time to play, not to have dad fix broken landing gear. If I see or think of a strong way to include more detailed parts that will actually look good and hold up long term, I’ll go for it, but until then, here it is; the CLASSIC. A plane jane plane…for true kids play!
CONSTRUCTION: The fun part, seriously, was hand fitting the mortise and/or dadoes of the wings, tail, and fuselage, and laying it all out for a tight fit and flush edges at the joints. Most of it is hand sanded on the final sanding and smoothing. Smoothing out the finished surface and rounding the majority of the hard edges really made a difference in the feel and look of the basic outline. It is a great hold to the hand for “flying it around”
Plus, I got to build it on my newer dead flat top workbench with 5×5 beam legs.
PS As I child of the 80’s I could not resist throwing in the “Ray-Bans” with one of the planes for photos. Oops on the rough photography if you look close.
Let me know what you think guys and how it could be better. It’s a start.
-- "So many projects...so little time..." Psalm 23