Retractable LEGO Wheels
Designing airplanes for the future
When I was a young boy, I loved building Lego airplanes. However, I didn’t like that wheels couldn’t retract. I made my first design of retractable wheels when I was 10, but it wasn’t perfect. You could still see the wheels outside the fusalage. Thus an obsession began to design the best retractable wheels.
In 11th grade, I focused on the problem. I was going to build the wheel set and then build a plane around that wheel set.
I went back and forth on designs, but I was often stuck on footprint of the wheel well. I could reduce the length, but the width would have to increase.
So I settled on a design that may have been a bit longer, it worked and was stable for actual play rather than just on the shelf. Even though I was in high school at the time, I still wanted to fly my plane around the house. I still do today.
Some years later, I got the Space Shuttle as a gift.
I loved it, and it lined up nice with my huge moon rocket.
However, I was disappointed in the wheels.
The back wheels retracted, but the front didn’t. So I used my previous design, and I modified the Shuttle.
The wheel was a bit fragile in transition, but afterwards, it performed well even for play.
I also took the liberty to expand the crew module to go from one to two people.
I love playing with Legos. They taught me so much about resource constrained engineering and design.
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