Most people are fascinated by flight. Some bring that fascination into their workshop to build their own flying machines. For Adam “ajw61185” Woodworth, that’s not enough — his R/C creations take whimsical aircraft and spacecraft and bring them to life as actual flying toys. His latest creation is the classic Lego airplane, scaled up 10x from the original’s wingspan of a few inches to almost six feet wide on his.
The San Francisco Bay Area-based hardware engineer has been interested in flight since before he can remember. “My dad was big into R/C planes in the ‘80s, so I basically grew up at the flying field,” he says. Woodworth has been working in aerospace since college, while maintaining a prolific pace of model aircraft building — he estimates he’s built several hundred aircraft over the past 25 years. “I was averaging a new build a month for a while,” he explains.
After garnering considerable attention for his Star Wars and Spaceballs drone builds, Woodworth decided to focus on an area of interest for this specific build. “Lego is my #2 hobby and I’ve always wanted to do a sort of crossover project,” he says. “When I found the giant 3D-printed Lego man, a plane for him to sit in was the obvious conclusion. It was really challenging to build it light enough. Since the shapes do not behave particularly efficiently, I had to keep things very light to work with the available lift.”
The finished craft, weighing in under 4 pounds, flies surprisingly well despite its blocky wings with telltale studs. The craft is extremely accurate, even down to the Lego logos on those bumps, which Woodworth made using a 3D printed embossing stamp. He built the body from 3mm Depron and the wings from 1″ EPS insulation sheet foam, both hand-cut and CNCed, over the course of 100 hours.
The build has been a hit. Woodworth says, “Everyone who sees the plane fly has a big smile, and that’s what it’s all about for me, sharing the joy of making and aviation.”