Do It Yourself: Make Your Own Soda Can Airplane

Aluminum soda cans can be used in crafts; instead of recycling them all, why not use some to make a model? Find out how to make your own airplane with these step-by-step instructions.

Airplanes are a long-time favorite of young boys, and older boys alike. They can be made out of balsa wood, Styrofoam, paper, and even aluminum soda cans! If you want to make your own soda can airplane, you'll first need to gather together four empty cans. Rinse them out and allow them to air dry.

The second step is to put on a pair of work gloves to protect your hands with. Once you start cutting the cans apart to work with them, the aluminum edges will be sharp. Grab a pair of sharp household scissors, a tube of clear, all-purpose glue, and you're ready to start the actual construction.

The third step is to carefully cut the very top piece off of one of the soda cans. To do this, you'll need to carefully poke a hole in the aluminum soda can with the end of the scissors. This will allow you to insert the bottom blade of the scissors into the can so you can cut the metal. Since the aluminum is very thin, you'll have to take care not to crush the can. Discard the very top piece of aluminum. Now, cut the bottom two and half inches off the bottom of another can; set this piece aside for now. Carefully cut the very top off of another soda can, and remove the bottom too. Cut the remainder of the can in half and unroll the metal out on a flat surface. Use a fine tipped marker to draw or trace the outlines of two airplane wings on the inside of the metal. Make sure the wings are the same size and the same shape. You can draw one outline, then cut it out, and use this as a pattern for the second wing, if you want. Then, use the leftover aluminum to



draw or trace the outline of an airplane propeller. The propeller should be about three inches in length. Carefully cut the propeller out of the aluminum.

The fourth step in making this project is to use the sharp pair of scissors to cut two slits, one on each side, of the soda can that you cut the top off of. Then, cut a horizontal slit across the bottom of the can too. You will now use the bottom from the aluminum can you cut. Use a drill or a hammer and small, sharp chisel to make a hole in the center of it. Also, make a hole in the center of the propeller. Secure the propeller onto the can bottom by using a small screw and nut. Allow a bit of space so the propeller can turn. You will then glue the bottom with the propeller onto the can without the top, in place of the top.

The fifth step is to use a scrap of the aluminum to make a wing for your soda can airplane. Use a fine tipped marker to draw or trace the outlines of an airplane tail on the inside of the metal. Cut it out with a pair of sharp scissors, and apply glue to it. Slip it into the back of the can in the horizontal slit. Now, slide the wings into place- one on each side of the plane- and secure them with dabs of the clear, all-purpose glue.

Finally, your soda can airplane will need a landing gear with two wheels attached to the bottom front. The easiest way to do this is to purchase an inexpensive landing gear for a model airplane. Then, make two holes in the bottom of the soda can, and insert the gear wires. Use two dabs of the clear, all-purpose glue to secure it onto the aluminum airplane.

You can paint your completed airplane, or you can just leave it as it is. Because of the sharp edges and the very thin aluminum, you shouldn't let children play with it. Instead, you can make it an interesting conversation piece by attaching a string to it and hanging it in a den or in a family room.

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