Here’s a paper plane to put all other paper planes to shame. This miniature model of a Boeing 777 (an Air India 777-300ER, to be specific) is the obsessively-awesomely-detailed work of Luca Iaconi-Stewart, who has been working on the project for 5 years using… wait for it… nothing but manila folders and dabs of glue. But look closely, it may be made of paper, but this jetliner is nearly as complicated as the real thing. The doors open and close on paper hinges, the landing gear retracts up into the fuselage. It’s astonishing.
The idea for the project grew out of his love of airplanes—and the “massing models” he made from manila paper in a high school architecture class. Soon after he found a super-detailed diagram online of an Air India 777-300ER, Iaconi-Stewart was drawing forms in Adobe Illustrator, printing them on manila, and wielding his X-Acto knife. “There’s something rewarding about being able to replicate a part in such an unconventional medium,” he says.
5 years may sound like a fairly long time to spend on a single project, but to give you an even better idea of the painstaking amount of effort and attention to detail involved, consider that Iaconi-Stewart spent an entire summer simply creating the plane’s seating sections: “20 minutes for an economy seat, four to six hours for business class, and eight hours for first class.”
He designed the engines in about a month and assembled them in four. The tail he rebuilt three times. When his classes at Vassar took up too much time—he actually stopped work on the 777 for two years because of college—Iaconi-Stewart dropped out. “I’m fortunate to have parents willing to give me a fair amount of latitude,” he says. They’re going to have to give a little more: When this project is finished, probably early this year, he might start building an even bigger model.
The images we’ve share here barely scratch the surface. Visit Luca’s Flickr stream for many more photos of his incredible project and click here for time-lapse process videos. Luca thinks he’ll be finished with his model early this year and is considering building an even bigger model next.
[via io9 and Wired]