Introduction: A Tiny Metal Biplane

About: Hi I'm Tanguy from France. I'm mechanical designer for more 15 years, I used to design special machines in the past, now I design and modify electrical low voltage switchboards. I am fascinated by mechanical d…

My six-year-old son has been talking to me about a biplane since he saw one on TV.

I decided to give him one, but this one is a bit peculiar.

This is the first time that I do this kind of achievement, without a plan, without any measurement, with little equipment, and also quickly (only 3H30).

In short, a real challenge.

Step 1: The Material

I have been storing sheets of galvanized sheetmetal of 0.5 mm thickness which friend had given me.

They are very easy to cut and form.

Another definite advantage is that small pieces can hold with glue.

Only one needle will be added for the propeller axis.

Step 2: The Tools

I used for this realization:

_ A vise (a small anvil would have been ideal).
_ A angle grinder.
_ A hammer.
_ A metal compass.
_ A little metal file.
_ A small nose plier.
_ A screw.
_ Cyano glue.

IMPORTANT: I did not use any measuring equipment (ruler, square…).

Step 3: The Fuselage

I formed the plate with a hammer and on the edge of the vice.

The end will be drilled with a screw and then glued.

Step 4: The Wings

I cut out two slightly V-shaped equivalent wings.

Step 5: The Tailplane

It’s the little wing in the back of the plane.

Step 6: The Drift

It’s the vertical wing behind the plane.

Step 7: The Stays

These are the smallest parts, they hold the upper wing.Watch your hands when using the grinder, remember to hold the parts to the clamp.

Step 8: Cut Out the Cockpit

I thought I’d do it sooner, but I made up my mind later.

It gives a nice effect once it is realized.

I finish to stick the upper wing on the stays.

Step 9: The Landing Gear

Very fine parts with small wheels, these will be the hardest to make and glue.

Step 10: The Propeller

I pierced the center of a piece of metal with the screw.

I then drew a circle to make a big propeller.

But I thought it would be more realistic to make a double blade propeller.

I then twisted it, so it turns when you blow on it.

I pass a needle through the propeller, and then I stick the needle in the fuselage.

Step 11: ​Model Completed

Finally it weighs 19 grams, and measures approximately 80 x 80 x 30 mm.

My son already loves it.

He’ll make a nice decoration object in his room.

Tiny Speed Challenge

First Prize in the
Tiny Speed Challenge