The Top 10 Best LEGO Planes
22nd November 2023
LEGO has produced countless excellent trains and cars over the years, but decent LEGO aeroplanes have been harder to come by. This is because most aircraft have arrived under the City theme which leans towards a child audience. As a result, many are constructed from gigantic pieces that make up most of the fuselage and wings. This gives them a rather “un-LEGOish” feel and consequently, they are of little interest to many AFOLs.
However, there have been some great LEGO planes, albeit few and far between, and in this article we count down our top ten.
10. Mach II Red Bird Rig (5591)
Model Team has a special place in the heart of the Brick Ranker team, as it was a theme well ahead of its time. Included in the Mach II Red Bird Rig was a red and white jet plane. Maybe the waves of nostalgia surrounding this set have clouded our judgement, but we think it's a very nice looking thing. Yes, it's chunky by today's standards, but it has a classic look. The plane is also very well proportioned and has some clever part use. When paired with the set's truck and trailer, it looks fantastic.
9. Aviation Adventures (31011)
LEGO Creator is not the theme that first comes to mind when thinking of high-quality premium builds, but this is the first of three Creator planes on our list. The main build from the Aviation Adventures set is a propeller plane, with mechanical propeller, foldable wing flaps, and retractable front landing gear. It's a well designed plane, with a robust build, so there's no fear of any pieces falling off during play. The white, blue, and yellow colour palette also makes this an attractive looking plane.
8. Wright Flyer (10124)
LEGO produced a series of historic aircraft under the Advanced Models theme, the most historic of all being the Wright Flyer, where powered flight first began. Of the Advanced Model planes, this is our least favourite. It suffered from a flimsy design, where you risked the wings coming off entirely if you tried to play with it. The fragile nature of the build ironically brought a level of realism, but it's not one we wanted. As a display model it represents an accurate replica of the real-world plane but lacks the visual appeal of other LEGO aircraft.
7. Cargo Plane (42025)
The only Technic set to make our list is the Cargo Plane from 2014. Technic sets are primarily prized for their mechanical complexity rather than their visual appeal, so this set is not the prettiest to look at, which is why it did make it further up our list. The open construction style leads to large gaps along the wings and fuselage that detract from its display potential. However, as a building experience and realistic model, this set excels. It includes numerous motorised features, such as an opening/closing pilot cabin, landing gear, and rear loading ramp, that make this a fantastic play set.
6. Sonic Boom (5892)
The Sonic Boom is the first of two fighter jets on our list. LEGO rarely makes them as nearly all have a military connection. However, with this set's beautiful red and white colour scheme, it could pass as a Red Arrow, which is perhaps how it passed LEGO's non-violence policy. Beside the pretty aesthetics, this set has plenty of functionality. It has light-up engines, an opening cockpit, retracting landing gear, and adjustable wings, so it packs in plenty of playability. You can also easily fit two minifigures into the cockpit. There's so much to love about this set. If you didn't have to hold down the switch for the engine lights to come on, had fewer studs on show, and the plane had some better wheels, it would be nearer the top of our list.
5. Blue Power Jet (31039)
The third Creator set on our list is the Blue Power Jet. With 3-in-1 builds, usually some compromises need to be made with each design. However, looking at the plane, it's hard to see where they might be, as it looks fantastic from all directions.
The set appears to be based on the F-22 Raptor and, aside from the blue colour scheme, it makes for a convincing replica, as it captures all the angles of the fighter jet very well. Although the set doesn't have as many play features as the Sonic Boom, it has a sleeker design, thanks to fewer studs being on show. For that reason, it ranks one place higher on our list.
4. Red Baron (10024)
The Red Baron set from 2012 depicts the WW1 fighter ace's iconic red painted Fokker DR I Triplane. The vibrant livery makes this one of the most striking LEGO planes ever made. In terms of faithfulness to the real Fokker DR I, this set can't really be faulted. The three-wing design is also very sturdy, meaning you could pick this up and swoosh it around to your heart's content. Our only criticism is that the black crosses are a detail created with stickers, which are prone to peeling off with age.
It's surprising that LEGO gave us such an iconic wartime plane, given that the company tries to steer well clear of military sets, so we doubt we'll see another set like this any time soon. With the Red Baron being such a legendary figure in military history, this set feels a little bit special.
3. Boeing 787 Dreamliner (10177)
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the oldest plane on our list, having been released in 2005. It still holds up reasonably well, although it's definitely showing its age, as it has a rather blocky appearance. You can tell LEGO were working with a much more limited set of parts when designing the model. Despite this, it recreates the shape and details of the real plane very well, and the blue and white livery is true to life. The Dreamliner is also a very impressive set to look at, as it measures 66 cm long and 69 cm across. It does have its drawbacks, such as the fragile wings and use of stickers that span multiple parts, but it's the only proper jetliner LEGO have produced so it deserves its place in our top ten.
2. Sopwith Camel (10226)
The Sopwith Camel is the best example of a biplane we've had from LEGO. It's a gorgeous looking thing, helped by the use of dark green as the colour scheme. There's great detail throughout the plane, especially around the propeller, cockpit, and tail. The set also has a standout feature, which is the working control stick that moves the wing flaps (ailerons and elevators) for controlling the aircraft's pitch and roll. Technically, it's very impressive. The plane is on the larger size, which makes it an excellent display piece and a prized piece of any LEGO collection.
1. Concorde (10318)
Topping our list is the Concorde from 2023. It's the best LEGO plane by some margin in our opinion. In fact, it's hard to pick fault with the set. It achieves an excellent level of realism when comparing the model to the real-world aircraft and offers multiple display options, thanks to its droppable front nose. Combine that with its elegant display stand and lack of stickers, and you have a set of the highest quality. A must-have for all plane lovers.
If you liked this article, you might also want to check out our top 10 LEGO trains.
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