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The ultimate PAPER airplane? Student builds a Boeing 777 model - complete with engine - using just card and glue

Luca Iaconi-Stewart from San Francisco has spent over five painstaking years building the 1:60-scale jetliner made of cut up card folders
He first learned to build models out of paper at high school and his love of airplanes led to his mammoth project
The 22-year-old hopes his Boeing 777 model could one day go on show at a museum when he has finished it

 A real Boeing 777 takes 50 days hundreds of people to build, but one student has created an impressive miniature paper version of the jetliner.
Luca Iaconi-Stewart crafted the incredible replica aircraft using only glue and manila cardboard folders, and it contains tiny details from padded airline seats, to fan blades in the engines and even retractable landing gear.
The 22-year-old thinks he could have finished the model - which is almost complete – if he had worked on it non-stop for a year, but said it would have been ‘a hellish experience.’
Mr Iaconi-Stewart has spent over five years building the 1:60-scale jetliner in his spare time, while attending college.

 He first learned to build models out of paper at high school and his love of airplane led to his mammoth project.
‘I was lucky enough to go to a high school with an amazing architecture department, which was a huge source of inspiration,’ Mr Iaconi-Stewart told MailOnline.

 ‘We learned to build simple manila folder "massing" models of basic structures, and I suppose I took that concept to the extreme with this model plane.
‘I've been interested in aviation for many years, and this project combines my love of airplanes with my love of art and design,’ he added.
After finding a detailed diagram of an Air India 777 online, Mr Iaconi-Stewart started drafting his own plans for the model using just a pencil and paper.

‘I traced a can to make the perfectly circular fuselage cross-section, but I soon hit a wall, where it became impractical to keep designing this way, which forced me to start using the computer,’ he explained.
‘These days, I look at photos and/or engineering drawings and use them to draw up my own plans in 2D. 
‘I use Adobe Illustrator -  though it isn't at all intended for my purposes - and I then print onto the folder, cut out the parts, and assemble,’ he said.
Mr Iaconi-Stewart says it is hard to describe exactly how the plane came together but explained that he made the fuselage (the aircraft’s main body section)  first – which took several attempts – before building the seats and cabin compartments and furnishing the interior.

 He then re-skinned the nose and tail, built the tailfin and horizontal stabilisers and painted the fuselage.
‘The engines were done in the middle of that process - often I'll switch to a different component when I get bored,’ he said.
‘I've essentially made two planes, with many of the early attempts being discarded,’ Mr Iaconi-Stewart said.
‘I’m starting on the wings now, which I expect to take several months. They're the final components, thankfully,’ he added.

 As he is not designing in 3D, Mr Iaconi-Stewart said it was tough to come up with the plans, especially for parts with unusual shapes like the engines and wings.
‘Assembling these parts can also be incredibly challenging. I only recently discovered how to make the paper truly bend in three dimensions,’ he said.
‘Other parts are challenging simply because of how monotonous they can be to assemble. There were a huge number of economy seats to build and I was luckily able to watch movies and TV while I put them together, but it was still a gruelling process.’

 Mr Iaconi-Stewart said it is rewarding to be able to replicate a part with a high degree of accuracy.
‘Seeing the model come together feels like a tremendous accomplishment, as difficult as it's been to get to this point. When it's done, I can only imagine how relieved I'll feel.’
While he has no idea what will happen to his model airplane, he hopes it will eventually find a place in a museum collection as it is something he would like people to be able to see in person, as well as in snapshots on his Flickr page.

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