Robert McKeon Aloe

Mar 14, 2021

4 min read

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.

If you like, follow me on Twitter and YouTube where I post videos of espresso shots on different machines and espresso related stuff. You can also find me on LinkedIn. You can also follow me on Medium.

Further readings of mine:

Story Collection Splash Page

A Collection of Espresso Articles

A Collection of Work and School Stories

Personal Stories and Concerns

Photography Splash Page

Engineering Legos*

Launching a LEGO Rocket to the Moon!

The Lego Slum

LEGO’s: Stories of Destruction

Ode to Amantea in LEGO

LEGO Church

Caring for a LEGO Hospital