Aviation Enthusiast Builds Giant LEGO Replica of Airbus A380
Fasten your seatbelts, minifigures, as it’ll be a smooth ride on the LEGO A380
The human race can be split up into two types of people: those who play with, use or have a fondness for LEGO bricks, and those who do not. For those who do not, the comparison is over, but for those who do, there are again two types of people: those who build sets using the instructions, and those who reject the sets and use the pieces to build whatever their imagination desires.
As a kid, I was always one who followed the instructions when it came to LEGO. There was a phase of my life where I was obsessed with buying, putting together and collecting LEGO sets, particularly LEGO City and Batman sets. As the new monthly LEGO catalogue came in the mail, and my eyes wandered immediately to the City and Batman sections, knowing there were new sets available now, my parents would rush me to the toy store as soon as possible.
For me during that time, opening up the LEGO box, sitting at the table and removing the individual plastic bags from the box and placing them onto the table, getting ready to open the instructions and know which bag to open and which pieces to remove for assembly was pure joy. I was one who lacked interest in creating my own LEGO designs, but had no trouble sitting at the table for seven hours following the instructions on how to build a LEGO Arkham Asylum or Police Station, which cost about $300 each.
To many however, especially LEGO enthusiasts, this is not impressive. I wasn’t a hardcore LEGO enthusiast by any means, I simply enjoyed buying sets as a kid, building them and playing with them. That phase of my life, however, has sailed, and although I still have the old sets I assembled on display in my house like an exquisite museum exhibit, I no longer play with or use LEGO.
That isn’t the case for Jack Carleson, known on YouTube as BigPlanes. With over 66,000 subscribers as of this article’s writing, Carleson’s passion for both aviation and LEGO has led him to assemble a majestic arsenal of LEGO airplanes, far outshining both my collection and most others’ collections.
BigPlanes’ creations have been featured at multiple LEGO conventions including BrickWorld and Bricks By The Bay, and now, he has another massive addition to the collection: his newest creation, a full replica Airbus A380 in the Emirates livery. In case you’re not familiar, the Airbus A380 is the world’s largest passenger aircraft, with a length of 239 feet, a wingspan of 262 feet, and a capacity of about 850 passengers.
BigPlanes’ recreation doesn’t quite reach that size, but in the LEGO world, it is pretty much so. The model has a wingspan of over seven feet, and uses an estimated 40,000 pieces. The model is complete with functioning flaps, doors, retractable landing gear, spinning engine fans, and even full interior lighting.
After being in the works for several months, as shown by BigPlanes’ various update videos posted on his channel between September 2020 and May 2021, the aircraft was finally completed sometime in late June of 2021, and then the showcase video, which shows off both the entire interior and exterior of the model — with some creative lore thrown in — was published to the world on July 3, 2021, immediately receiving critical acclaim and heavy community support.
BigPlanes has created a plethora of other LEGO replicas of various aircraft, including a passenger Boeing 747, Air Force One, Marine One Helicopter, Boeing 707, 787, and various other passenger and military aircraft. However, the Airbus A380, his largest work, was in the pipeline for some time, and heavily requested by fans.
Alas, it has finally been completed, and one thing is for sure: with this big plane in the books, Carleson sure has lived up to his “BigPlanes” moniker.
Chris is a writer and publisher who travels America, and loves doing it. He also loves pizza, video games, and sports, and can tell you a thing or two about each. Follow him on Medium to be informed of new articles.