Fueled by imagination, this 27-year-old Lego set—the Solo Trainer—flew thousands of hours in the hands of kids and collectors. But Adam Woodworth, an aerospace engineer and hardware designer at Google, wanted to see just how aeronautically sound Lego’s design really was, so he built a giant RC version of it.
Made from various types of foam, including the one-inch thick panels used to insulate a house, Adam’s recreation is a near-perfect replica of the original Lego model that flies surprisingly well given its angled design doesn’t look very aerodynamic. A motor failure resulted in a devastating crash for the original version of Adam’s Lego-inspired plane. But he’s since rebuilt it, which took about 100 more hours than the Lego toy did.