EDGE 540 aerobatic airplane - set 6745 alternate model
About this creation
July 2, 2009
One of the things that I really enjoy doing is trying to make a LEGOŽ model that represents a real-life object. Another thing that I really enjoy doing is watching the Red Bull Air Race . A natural outcome of liking those two things is to make a model of an airplane that competes in the race.
One of the neat things about LEGOŽ is that there are so many possibilities for the combination of elements. The "Creator" brand that LEGOŽ markets exploits this strength by including instructions for at least three models in each kit. So, using the same pieces you have the ability to make at least three different models! It is also fun to try to make alternate models of your own from the pieces that are contained in only one set.
For this model, I limited myself to the pieces that are contained in LEGO Ž set number 6745 "Propeller Power." Building a model with this type of limitation introduces several challenges that can be overcome with patience, trying out different combinations and a lot of re-work. For example, a big challenge is proportion and features. For this model, I looked carefully at images and video of an EDGE 540 (this is one of the planes that pilots fly in the Red Bull Air Race). I could see that the overall shape of the aircraft had several characteristics that I wanted to be sure to include in my model.
As you look at the front of the plane, there are two inlets that control how much air gets into the engine. Their presence in the overall look of the front of the plane is vital. Also as you look at the front of the plane, you see that the landing gear is not vertical, but, rather, it is angled.
From the top, there were a couple of main goals. The first was to make the airplane appear, at least, to get skinnier as you moved from the front of the airplane where the propeller is to the back. As you can see, the front of the airplane is 4 studs wide (actually it is 4 and 4/5 wide), it narrows to two studs wide for much of its length and then finally at the vertical stabilizer, it is only one stud wide. The real airplane has a smooth, continuous line as its width changes from front to back, but I think the effect is achieved here. The second main goal was to get the shapes and proportions of the wings and elevators as close as possible. The real airplane's wingspan is wider than the plane is long so that proportion was important and the relative size difference between the main wing and the elevator was critical.
The side view also show some of the interesting features of this aircraft. The depth of the fuselage on the real airplane tapers continuously from the front to the back, so representing that taper was important. The plane of the wing relative to the top of the fuselage and the axis of the propeller was also a prime consideration. On the real plane, the back of the pilot's cockpit lines up pretty close to the trailing edge of the wing.
Another big challenge when you limit yourself to the parts from one set is color scheme. When your model is finished, not only do you want one that has all the features possible, but you want the colors and the patterns in the LEGOŽ elements to be pleasing to the eye. The good quantities of yellow and black elements included with this kit made a nice color scheme possible. I have included a link to the yellow and black EDGE 540 flown by Alejandro MacLean in 2007. This LEGOŽ kit did not include the parts necessary to duplicate this real life airplane's colors exactly, but it sure was fun to get as close as possible.
If you look closely, maybe you can find some addition details that correspond between the LEGOŽ model and the real thing.
So we can expect another alternate from this set. Sounds good! I'm looking forward to that. Seems like you're on a roll lately with all your planes. Just make sure that you're not building the same model as I did... ;-)