Instructables

Red Baron Child's Bicycle Trailer

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This instructable will detail how to make a small airplane bicycle trailer.  I make these for sale, but am glad if other people try their hand at it.  I make a plane, train, tank, taxi and tractor version of these.  My son loves this particular trailer (it was my first) and I bet your child will love it as well.  It is real simple - just knowing how someone else did it may make your day easier. 

For some reason, when I edit this, it will not let me embed video - so here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BdvfXduUso to my son riding down the driveway in tow.
 
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Step 1: Find Materials (aka The Three Lives of Pine Boards)

Picture of Find Materials (aka The Three Lives of Pine Boards)
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Your first step in this process is to procure what you will need for the plane.  My main materials came from a bookshelf that I took down in one of our rooms.   I began this project to submit it for the instructable contest where something is used for another purpose - and as you can see I didn't make that deadline. 

Below is a list of what I used to make the little plane:
1.  1x12 pine boards (I used a handful of 30 inch long ones and two 10 feet long ones)
2.  2 wheels from Northern Tool
3.  small brads (1 inch)
4.  small screws (3/4 inch)
5.  one L bracket (4 inch)
6. two 5 gallon buckets with lids (you really only need two lids - I just used this project to justify buying two more buckets).
7. one length of 2 inch conduit
8. assorted switches and an old alarm clock.
9.  a one foot diameter concrete tube (or a compass...)


In regard to number 1 - the bookcase I had to take down had shelves thirty inches wide across and twelve inches deep - these dimensions influenced the dimensions of the plane because I didn't want to purchase any other materials.
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PitStoP2 years ago
I was just doing some browsing at the outdoor instructables and saw this bike trailer and I had to say.. this is so cool... makes me want to be a kid again! But knowing me I probably would of builds this with four wheels with the idea that I can go down a steep hill and try to make it fly..lol
I read a comment about safety and before I read it I was thinking that maybe adding a roll cage around the cockpit making it look like windows and maybe adding plexiglass on it. That and a seat belt should make it a little safer in the case it will flip over. Just a thought incase someone desides to build one. I like to think of safety when it come to making things for kids. Just a thought I had!
This is a great instructable build. Makes me want to go and build one!
That propeller would be so cool if it rotate with the air when in motion.. =) Great choice of color too.. It reminds me of the Red Baron Biplane! So cool...
cloudcat2 years ago
I would love to see the tank and train. Any chance you will be submitting those either in a contest or just for viewing?
rgriffin833 years ago
Your son has one pretty awesome dad. Oh, the memories this kid will have. Well done!
fischer993 years ago
awesome. You inspired me to build one as well. http://www.instructables.com/id/Hotrod-bike-trailer/
Since you are selling them, what type of safety regulations do you have to abide by? I know about the harness, reflectors, fail-safe on the hitch.. but if there are any docs or sites you could recommend i would appreciate it. police can be pretty anal around here. i'd like to make sure it's safe and legal.

Thanks
3366carlos3 years ago
Outstanding, I hope the child becomes a fighter Navy pilot!
Navy..phbbbt! Air Force rules!!
It might sound odd, but Navy pilots are actually better. Hell, most of the pilots picked for the astronaut program were USN.

Although, if the kid's in a Red Baron plane, he'll top everyone!
I know, I'm just teasing. In my opinion though, NASA missed out on some of the best personnel to pull from when they skipped over the submariners. I mean, think about it. Who better to handle being locked inside a cramped tin can for days on end in a hostile environment?
Haha, true. I've meet some submariners, I was always so envious that they were all buddies and could do whatever cause they're underwater and no one saw them. I'd see pics of them hanging w/their skipper and beards. Beards! Like they're pirates =D
SHIFT!3 years ago
"Is this a Winner?".....YES. I wish I had this when I was a kid, so much fun!
How fast do you have to go to get it airborne?
ilpug3 years ago
Love the design and effort that went into this, although i find the whole idea of children in bike trailers to be extremely dangerous and irresponsible. That said, i do like the ingenuity and craftsmanship.
tmherrin (author)  ilpug3 years ago
I am sure some people consider having children in the first place 'dangerous and irresponsible' :)
ilpug tmherrin3 years ago
takes all kinds to make a world
Bike trailers are perfectly safe as long as the parent riding the bike is safe and responsible.
they probably are safe, im just paranoid about things like that. dont mind me.
I don't get what is dangerous and irresponsible here, looking at the picture, they are wearing helmets and are on back suburban/country road. I guess I really don't see the danger.
That looks soo cool! Any kid would love to ride in one of those! LOL I still would! LOL
I really like your project! I have never used a bike trailer before, but this has got me interested in considering making one. Thanks for sharing!
farzadbayan3 years ago
Awesome !
Looks so funny for ride in the park !
agis683 years ago
wow, i ve build in the past a small static ship for my nephews, but this one is nice and kids gonna love it!
Bytheway i live in Greece, could you send me a link of the store for these wheels. Here is hard to find except bikycle wheels but are heavy.
ajft3 years ago
That looks really cool. Really cool but unfortunately totally impractical! I'm not sure where you'd want to ride with it, if you were on the roads then the wingspan would mean you'd need to take up an entire lane, if you were trying to ride on a path then you'll probably find that you simply cannot fit due to the width of paths, overhanging bushes, gates, bollards and other people. I ride with an ordinary single-seater trailer behind for my little boy and find that we have hassles on half the so-called "bike paths" because the people who design them only make them wide enough for an ordinary bicycle, anyone with a trailer, trike, or wide load is out of luck.

tmherrin (author)  ajft3 years ago
luckily the bike paths in my hometown are pretty wide - maybe being from the most obese state in the us paid off in that we have really wide bike paths. :)
HEY YOU3 years ago
Great Job

If you added a pair of paint ball guns on the wings (restricted from shooting the towing bike of course) you could teach the neighborhood bully a real lesson (just kidding - I especially like the dashboard)

When your son outgrows the trailer, you can use it to tow a cooler to picnics!!!

Cheers and happy towing.
tmherrin (author)  HEY YOU3 years ago
something about mounting workable paintball guns or airsoft guns would be awesome - my son could wreak havoc on the squirrels in our neighborhood...
Could you please show a picture of how the trailer is attached to the bicycle? I would just like to see your hitch as I am very poor at envisioning what you have done. Thank you
tmherrin (author)  DecoyTheDead3 years ago
I just made another instructable - it is called bicycle trailer hitch - it has a series of photos how I took a chain tensioner and made it into a workable hitch. I hope this helps. If not, send me another msg.
- tmherrin
zvizvi3 years ago
beautifully done! that is just so nice, makes me want to have my children already
romwell3 years ago
This is awesome!

However, I should note that Manfred von Richthofen flew a triplane:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RoteBaron.JPG

Therefore, you need to add a third wing on top for authenticity and awesomeness :)
davIRE3 years ago
far out that thing is adorable and awesome
realmassage3 years ago
I would like to see close-up pictures of how the bike and trailer connect please
bruno130693 years ago
Awesome design, and I bet you get a lot of smiles when you're pulling / riding in this.
I would make one small addition - a bicycle safety flag - mounted on the tail. Many areas require a passenger trailer to have a pennant of some sort at a car driver's eye level for safety.
Again, awesome work!
tmherrin (author)  bruno130693 years ago
A flag would be a great idea. I do not go out and about on the roads since my hometown has a lot of bike paths. Our state law requires 3ft clearance when a car passes a bike on a public road - and this is over three feet wide. I plan on adding to the instructable when I find my pics of how I mounted a seatbelt.
Flag and seatbelt? +1 for each! :-)
That's awesome, dude!

Two little suggestions... One, maybe you should put a fender on your back bike wheel so you don't kick a rock in little-man's face. Two, I think the hitch should have some kind of break-away in case you fall over on the bike.

Other than that, I think you're on to a GREAT idea...!
old_code3 years ago
That looks like something so neat for a kid, that he'll always remember going for a bike ride with dad.

Thanks for all of the instructions, including 'errors in the making'. (I would have thought that dry erase would come off of paint, too). Wasn't sure what the photo of the car was, but later learned of your constructive use of vehicle weight for pipe bending.
axiesdad3 years ago
Really cute! You must get a lot of looks and compliments when you take your boy out for a spin. I've been thinking of something similar for a swing set; I'm sure I'll use some of your ideas. To satisfy the safety nazis, you could easily add a seat belt (all airplanes have them) and a flashing light atop the tail fin would go along with the plane motif better than a pendant.
Archergal523 years ago
This is one of the most adorable things I've ever seen. It's probably kinda heavy, but I'm sure the cuteness outweighs that aspect!

Well done!
sdudley3 years ago
Now that's a super cool project!  My guess... the kid is always asking to go for a bike ride.

Great job!
craftyv3 years ago
So cute, that's your boy of course. Love the design etc. but I am concerned about the safety aspect.
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