When one thinks of paper airplanes, the image that comes to mind is usually one of a carelessly folded creation that takes a few seconds to build. However, don't tell that to Luca Iaconi-Stewart. He has spent the last five years building one from Manila paper and, is still not done!
As you have probably guessed, this is no ordinary airplane replica, but one so detailed that it could pass as the real jetliner if, it wasn't so small and had the ability to take off.
Built on a scale of 1:60, Luca begins each section by printing out the detailed design and then carefully carving it down with an X-Acto knife. After that, he painstakingly glues it all together.
The detail-oriented artist is so particular that he spent an entire summer building the seats. He began by dividing the cabin into three sections - economy, business and first and then crafting the exact number of seats in each, to specification. It took him 20 minutes to build one economy class seat, four to six hours for a business class seat and an astounding eight hours for every first class seat.
As for the tail? That took three attempts, while the engines took about another month. And though the aircraft looks close to being done, Luca still has to tackle the most difficult, not to mention essential, part of the plane - The wings! Therefore, while he aims to complete the model by this summer, it may take a little longer.
Luca who loves airplanes said that he got the idea for the project after stumbling upon some detailed drawings of an Air India Boeing 777-300ER on the Internet in 2008, when he was still a junior in high school. He decided to pick manila paper as his medium because he had used it to build many models for his high school architecture class and was comfortable working with it.
Though it has been five years since he started the project, Luca did take two years off when his course load at Vassar College got too heavy. That is why he recently decided to quit school and pursue his passion, full-time. And he has no plans of returning, at least in the immediate future. That's because after he is done with this paper airplane, he plans to embark on his next project - which he promises will be as intricate, but much bigger!
Resources: wired.com,the verge.com,tested,com