Blakbird

[REVIEW] 42025 Cargo Plane

28 posts in this topic

Those of us in North America have been impatiently waiting for the 42025 Cargo Plane all year whilst the rest of world got to bask in its glory. Finally I could stand it no more so I ordered a copy from Amazon that was imported from Japan. The box showed up a bit damaged, but it was worth it to finally get my hands on this. As an aircraft fan, I'd been anticipating this one for a long time.

400x300.jpg

The box was reasonably full on un-numbered bags.The instruction manuals, as is the new norm, came packed in a bag with a cardboard sheet for protection. Note that the manuals are in multiple volumes, so despite the fact that a couple of reviewers have found single large manuals in some new sets, this is apparently not the new standard. There were also two huge sticker sheets included. Virtually every panel (and there are a LOT of panels) gets a sticker.

400x300.jpg400x300.jpg

400x300.jpg

Let's take a look at the parts. Below you can see the overall sorted parts distribution and then some close-up views of panels, gears, and beams. It is tempting to think of this as a big ole' Power Functions set. It is surely big, but the PF content is actually minimal: just a battery box and an M-motor. The five small linear actuators are a nice addition to any collection. Although the model is blue and white (thanks LEGO!), there is remarkably little blue in it. Most of the blue comes from the stickers and the 3L pins! I am also pleased to report minimal color vomit. In this case, black was used as a contrasting color to make building easier instead of something more egregious. Although this is still not ideal from an AFOL perspective, the black does not stand out as objectionable. Interestingly, there are a number of 2L blue beams included which really should have been white. As I used the first of them I thought they were probably blue because somewhere else in the model they needed to be blue. But it turns out none of the uses within the model really needed to blue. So why blue? I don't know but it is nice to have those parts available.

400x300.jpg400x300.jpg

400x300.jpg400x300.jpg

400x300.jpg

I wanted to point out this bit of the instructions which I found unusual. In this case TLG used a 3L lightsaber blade intead of a 3L axle to connect these parts. The apparent reason was to provide more clearance for a nearby linear actuator.

400x300.jpg

Here we can see the first portions of the build. The linear actuator you see here will operate the nose gear. The next pair operate the main gear. I was surprised to see that in no portion of the instructions did it tell you to synchronize the position of the LA's. This means that the various gears can be way out of phase. Only after completing the model did I realize that the internal clutches in the actuators will automatically resynchronize once you reach the end of travel.

400x300.jpg

400x300.jpg400x300.jpg

Here you can see the battery pack dividing the forward and aft cargo bays. TLG actually opted to make the floor aft the aft bay solid (notice the beams filling in the gaps in the 5x7 bracket), presumably so that cargo could actually be placed there.

400x300.jpg

Now we see the main gearbox being assembled. This will go above the battery box and switch between 4 motorized functions: forward cargo door, aft cargo door, engines, and landing gear. All are driven by a single centrally mounted M-motor.

400x300.jpg400x300.jpg

400x300.jpg

Next we'll mount the linear actuators for the forward and aft cargo doors. The nose door uses a single actuator powered through u-joints. The rear door also uses a single actuator, but this time the power is routed through a series of bevel gears supported by brackets.

400x300.jpg400x300.jpg

400x300.jpg400x300.jpg

The core of the fuselage is now complete. At this point it doesn't look much like an airplane, but all the motorized functions are already completed.

400x300.jpg

I really like the complex angles both within and outside the nose cargo door. It is obvious that a lot of design effort went into this, and it was certainly not trivial to make sure that no parts were stressed on installation.

400x300.jpg400x300.jpg

This picture shows the diagonal braces for the wings. Although a real plane of this type would have fully cantilevered wings, for the LEGO model the diagonal braces are essential for rigidity. Once the wings are on, you can hardly see them.

400x300.jpg

Next come the skirts for the landing gear. I won't call these landing gear doors because they don't really enclose the gear, but they do shield the gear when either stowed or deployed. Interestingly, the position of the skirts is about the same at each extreme position. They just move out of the way for the gear to pass to retracting, then return to their former position. This is accomplished by slaving the motion to the gear motion with the 6L half liftarms.

400x300.jpg

Time to build the aft of the fuselage and the empennage. At this point we install the stick that will operate the elevators and ailerons. The rudder does not move, however I'm pleased to report that there IS a rudder. The designer outlined the rudder with beams to make it distinct from the rest of the vertical stabilizer. Once installed on the fuselage, the tail totally changes the look of the model and you can now tell what it is going to be. I like the fact that the upper and lower surfaces of the rear fuselage are swept upward. On real planes, this is to avoid striking the tail on the ground during takeoff rotation or landing. In the case of this LEGO model, the taper starts in the wrong place (too far aft of the landing gear), so the body still strikes the ground when rotating.

400x300.jpg400x300.jpg

400x300.jpg

Here we see the main spar of the wing constructed and installed along with attachment of the diagonal braces. At this point, the wing is structurally complete. The rest is just for show! In the third image, you can see some of those mystery 2L blue beams.

400x300.jpg400x300.jpg

400x300.jpg

This shows the flaps and ailerons. I really like that the flaps are not just a simple hinge, but actually move with a bit of Fowler motion: moving aft and down at the same time. The flaps use a bit of friction to stay in place. Speaking of friction, look at how the engine clutch works. When I heard that the engines come with a clutch function to keep from hurting your fingers, I figured it utilized either a ratchet or the 24 tooth clutch gear. But you can see it actually sends the torque through a friction pin which allows slippage.

400x300.jpg400x300.jpg

Here are the parts that are left over. These seem to really be extra and not needed for the alternate model.

400x300.jpg

And now the completed model. It looks pretty good! Some of these images show the nose door and the landing gear. If not for the battery box, the internal volume would be a continuous open space for cargo. In the top view, you can see another nice detail. The wings are actually slightly tapered! The leading edge is installed at a small angle which allows the root chord to be larger than the tip chord.

400x300.jpg400x300.jpg

400x300.jpg400x300.jpg

400x300.jpg

There is no doubt that this thing is pretty fun to use. I was swooshing it all over my house right after I finished building it. The ability to leave the props running while flying is nice. I should also point out that that the black lever which attached to the battery box switch is much easier to use than the switch itself. This is good since it is normally so tricky to get the switch centered.

It is hard to say that this is modeled after a real aircraft, but it is pretty similar to a C-123. The fact that is has 4 main landing gear wheels suggests a bigger plane like the C-130, but then it should have 4 engines.

AC_Fairchild_C123_colour.jpg

So how does this compare with some older planes? These final two images show you. Although the plane is very large, good old 8855 is almost as big.

400x300.jpg400x300.jpg

I enjoyed this model quite a bit and would certainly recommend it. As a play set it is lots of fun, and it is quite a good parts pack as well. The price is not bad for something of this size, and the alternate model is pretty cool too (I have built it and will review it later).

Larger versions of all these pictures are available at my Bricksafe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good write-up and a great review!

I too really enjoyed building this set, it felt like such a breath of fresh air compared to all other sets of recent years, both due to theme and colour choice! I especially liked the inclusion of working flaps! :thumbup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe interesting to mention that the model also looks good without stickers, which I didn't expect at first. Thus sticker-haters (like me) don't have to dread their model looking half-finished.

It's a nice set all in all. Nice amount of parts, and fun to build.

Edited by jantjeuh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now let's add a review of the excellent alternate model. Let me start by staying that I don't often build alternate models. This is partially because I often don't find them interesting, but there is another reason. In days of yore, you could pull out the printed instruction manual for the alternate model and get started, but more recently TLG has been saving cost by not printing the alternate instructions. The downloadable PDFs have often been of such abysmal quality that building the alternate model was difficult at best. Various theories have been expounded on why this is so, chief among them being to save file size. However, I've always believed the low quality to be intentional to prevent easy copyright infringement. While I can understand this for the main instructions (legitimate buyers should have the printed copy anyway), it didn't make much sense for the alternate model since even legitimate buyers had download as the only option. 42025 would seem to corroborate my theory. The main instruction PDF is as terrible as we have come to expect, however the alternate PDF is excellent! Really sharp and clear. The fact that TLG used two totally different quality levels certainly implies this is intentional. Note that this is not unique to 42025; 42009 is the same way.

The alternate model uses the majority of the parts from the main model. The image below shows the leftovers. One thing I really like about these instructions is that they clearly show you how to use the stickered parts from the main model. On many alternate models, the stickers from the main model are not used and look odd. Not so in this case. In fact, it is easier to build the alternate model than to rebuild the main model. The reason for this is that the stickers in the main model are not always applied in the same step as the part is added, so if you've already applied the stickers it is not obvious when to use those parts.

400x300.jpg

The alternate model is apparently a hovercraft (or possibly hydrofoil). It could be a passenger ferry, an auto ferry, or some other sort of high speed cargo vessel. Watercraft are pretty rare in the history of Technic, so this was a welcome change.

400x300.jpg400x300.jpg

The functions are pretty limited but well implemented. The model sits on 4 hidden wheels under the side skirts. The rear wheel carriage pivots for steering. At the same time, the pusher propellers are turned in the opposite direction. The concept and implementation is very similar to how the 8839 ship works.

400x300.jpg400x300.jpg

The front cargo door is a fascinating mechanism. The ramp folds down at the same time as the upper portion of the forward deck lifts up. The motion is reminiscent of the front door on the 8480 alternate submarine. I've shown an image both open and closed, but this mechanism deserved an animated GIF as well.

400x300.jpg400x300.jpg

anim.gif

Inside the cargo bay is a rather leaky storage container. The cargo bay is large with a solid floor, so you could probably fit a substantial LEGO car inside up to 10 wide.

400x300.jpg

The whole thing is controlled with a 4 position gearbox, but that's a bit of a misnomer. One of the 4 outputs is not connected to anything. Furthermore, another two of the outputs are for the engines which run in parallel, so there are really only two selectable positions. One is for engines and the other is for cargo door/ramp. There is a black lever on the side which operates the battery box switch remotely.

400x300.jpg400x300.jpg

This thing is pretty fun. As an alternate model built from a fixed palette, I would rate it highly. It is certainly worth building, though I haven't decided whether it is worth actually keeping an additional copy of the set just to display it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good review! I like how this set looks more *full?* then the other ones, not a lot of gaps like in most technic sets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review! I'm looking forward to eventually picking this up. I really like all the white pieces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice review! Is this set going to be about 129.99?

I don't think the USA prices have been formally released, but your guess sounds about right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same here.

There's never been an official Technic hovercraft before

Really love the hovercraft and also have seen some MOC to make the hovercraft fully motorized. I'm also thinking about to make this set one of my collection although currently it is out of my budge plan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some pics of the prototype for the Cargo Plane.. They are from the newest Technic themed issue of BrickJournal...

Cargo.jpg

Same here.

There's never been an official Technic hovercraft before

Actually there were a couple.

8824-1.1180307552.thumb2.jpg

pTRU1-14479142dt.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually there were a couple.

and 8223, and 8246......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent review on the cargo plane and hovercraft. :thumbup:

These have been available in Australia for about 2 weeks now that I have noticed maybe longer, on sale price was $149 at Myers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice review blackbird! Although I'd personally prefer your images to be on a white background, like Jim's reviews :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice review!!

I especially like the review of the hovercraft. The opening cargo bay looks nicely done.

Hmmm maybe I will pick up a second copy of this set after all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just seen this at the local Lego store in the Milwaukee Mayfair Mall...

42025 - $139.99

42024 - $79.99

Store employee said 42030 should probably be available by this coming Monday when new stock arrives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't wait to get this set, I will definitely get two. I will probably build both models at the same time, then I will combine the parts to create a 4 engined monster.

Here are some pics of the prototype for the Cargo Plane.. They are from the newest Technic themed issue of BrickJournal...

Cargo.jpg

Is that a shorter curved panel just before the wing?

Edited by Matt The Tuba Guy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just seen this at the local Lego store in the Milwaukee Mayfair Mall...

42025 - $139.99

42024 - $79.99

Store employee said 42030 should probably be available by this coming Monday when new stock arrives.

I like the 42024 price. So is lego sending the Volvo at the right time to the States? I thought it was going to be delayed due to the first half sets being delayed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anybody who's built this notice that in step 76, when you connect the blue beams coming forward from the tail to the fuselage, that there is enough strain in the geometry to actually flex the liftarms?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finished the B-model. Very cool build, making a very nice set overall...

...but I'm still scavenging it for parts anyways.

:moar:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm wondering if anyone has thoughts on the use of linear actuators vs. pneumatic cylinders for the landing gear? You would almost need a compressor aboard the plane but I think the landing gear would be better if they raised and lowered much faster than they do now with the actuators.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm wondering if anyone has thoughts on the use of linear actuators vs. pneumatic cylinders for the landing gear? You would almost need a compressor aboard the plane but I think the landing gear would be better if they raised and lowered much faster than they do now with the actuators.

You can be sure that someone has thoughts on it... :grin:

A LEGO pneumatic compressor and gear would be cool, but I think it would be slower than the LA's, not faster. The single pump compressors just don't provide much air.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.