Props to Prop Planes

It all started with the ‘add-on’ to the Transamerica Pyramid model. On a trip home, I sketched the airplane and the way the parts of the plane might lay out on a page…

quick notes on the Prop Plane

When I got back to San Francisco, I cut out some pieces and taped them together. Crude cuts with freehand drawing and an Exacto knife and tape to get an idea of whether the model can work, and where the structure needs strengthening.

first crude cut

I mocked up the parts in Corel Draw, and then had a model (which still had to be taped together, since I had eyeballed all the parts). Note the wheel-style propeller (I didn’t think the paper would be stiff enough to support a ‘bladed’ propeller). Also there were way too many segments in the wing to fold. And a tiny stabilizer in the rear!

first machine cut

Next version was all about getting the parts into proper proportion. The tabs are all reshaped.

refinement for stability

By this time I was ready to have other people try assembling it. Maike is doing a great job here! Plus, I was getting interested in how the graphic design and color scheme would shape the final assembled look.

coloring by Dave

A small ‘AHA’–the plane is mostly enclosed space, and so it has an inside and an outside. I put my colorful design on one side and left the other side minimally decorated so that you can decorate it yourself!

inside-out Prop Plane

Here is the finished product…

Prop plane finished!

… with a lot of airplanes built along the way.