Lego Creator – Twinblade Adventures (31020): Another 3-in-1 from the Creator series, but I’m not as enthralled with this one (even among those with winged vehicles) I’ve always said my main peeve with Lego sets are those without a clear audience. This lacks any cool factor, historical factor, or engineering factor – it feels more like it exists because they needed some more aerial Creator sets.
Time to Knoll: 11.5 Minutes
Time to Build: 14.5 Minutes (VTOL Build)
Time to Build: 12.5 Minutes (Plane Build)
Time to Build: 13 Minutes (Helicopter Build)
- Pieces: 216 and 23, 31, 28Steps – Manual for VTOL, Plane, Helicopter (32, 34, and 32 Pages)
- Price: $17.99 on Lego and $15.29 on Amazon
- Weight 153 grams
- Combo Points: (16X39X3X3) = 5,616 points
- Volume (Based on Blob length/width/height): 96mm x 32mm x 83.2mm or 255.6 cm³
- Uniqueness: 1 out of 5 Stars
- Aesthetics: 2 out of 5 Stars
- Fun to Build: 2 out of 5 Stars
- Hoarding: 2 out of 5 Stars
What Else? So while it’s clear without any sense of motion – the plane offered here has no way to maintain, and would as Toy Story put it ‘fall with style’. Undeterred though I set out to see how possible it would be if this was mechanized. Where my little push of velocity was a constant it could maintain.
Of course NASA is kind enough to provide formulas and understanding on the topic of Lift. Most of this equation is easy enough to figure out, weight, air density, surface area of wings. Of course there was one wrinkle – namely the Coefficient of lift.
Now while NASA does provide info on this, sadly in order to calculate it – you need a wind tunnel. Which as mentioned before I do not have (although maybe I should invest). Now using a nifty calculator (and Worcester’s current temperature) I get a required CL of 51571.41 (which checks out doing the reverse math).
Now sadly I am not an aeronautics expert – so I can’t say whether 51k is a lot or a little, but especially with no motor – it would seem Lego planes were simply not meant to fly.
(For those wondering that comes from 1.068 N for weight from grams of 109g, 7 inch^2 for wing area, 0.284 ft/s from a simple push test, and this chart for air density.)
Of course I am a computer programmer reviewing Lego sets – so I welcome others to correct my math here.
Remix: For the remix here, with the past fourth of July, and the return of Battlebots I figured it was good of me to make a little bot myself. (Okay I admit I was watching it during review) Due to the needs to get all the ramps, flippers, and horizontal spinners it does suffer from a bit of rainbow-warriorism though.
Final Thoughts: Overall this is my least favorite from the Creator line, and it’s not hard to see why. The color palette is rather drab, each of the creations just doesn’t feel as ‘tight’ as other creator series sets, and I wish the sets were a bit more complex and minifig scaled.
Final Score: 1 out of 5 Stars