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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Lego Technic Planes: E-2 Hawkeye Replica

After I dismantled by model of a Harrier, I began looking for other planes to replicate using Lego Technic. I decided on the E-2 Hawkeye, which is a very distinctive plane because of the radar dish on its fuselage. After about 2 weeks of designing, testing and building, I finally finished the model, and the end result is described below.
The model looks a lot like a Hawkeye, although I couldn't quite capture some of the finer contours. I made the dish by stacking certain straight elements one on top of the other, and the result looked satisfyingly circular. I tried to include as many motorized features as possible, and the model incorporates a motorized landing gear and spinning propellers. I tried to motorize the dish as well, but it was too heavy for the motor to spin. Unfortunately, I had only 6 rotor blades, so each propeller has only 3 blades instead of 4, as there are on the real thing.
The most difficult part in the construction process was getting the landing gear under the propellers to line up with the main landing gear under the nose. Also, the spacing was a real pain. However, after about a hundred changes, it all fit together perfectly. The disk is a bit wobbly, but it spins fine. The propellers spin really fast, and, when they are spinning, it almost fells as if it is going to take off!
Overall, while there are many things which could be improved in this model, I am quite proud of it. Various pictures showing the model from all angles are below.
A front view of the model. I added the green light under the nose just for fun. 
A side view of the model showing the lowered undercarriage.
A back view of the plane showing its four tails and rudders.
A top view of the model clearly showing the full expanse of the radar dish.
A view of the plane from the bottom showing the underside of the wings, which are filled with rods as in the Harrier design. 
A closer view at the bottom of the plane showing the axels operating the various mechanisms inside the propeller housing.
A slightly blurred shot showing the gear system operating the landing gear in the front and under each propeller.
A slightly better shot of the same mechanism as described above. 
A close-up shot of the gear system that connects the motor to the undercarriage under each propeller.
A close-up shot of one of the propeller housings with lowered landing gear. Another such unit is present under the other wing. The wing is anchored securely to each unit.
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