How to Make a Beer Can Airplane

Written by ehow hobbies, games & toys editor
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If you're looking for a relatively inexpensive project to work on and like building models, then making a beer can airplane is for you. Beer can airplanes make neat decorations for family rooms or home offices and also make great gifts. It takes just a couple of hours to make a beer can airplane, complete with a working propeller. This project is just plane fun!

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 8 clean beer cans
  • Pliers
  • Rivets and rivet gun
  • Tin snips
  • Hammer and one nail
  • Wire hanger

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    Body and Wings

  1. 1

    Remove the tops and bottoms of six beer cans, and discard the tops only. Cut the cans from top to bottom, and smooth flat.

  2. 2

    Take one sheet, and cut 6 long struts 1 inch by 3 1/2 inches and 2 short wing struts 1 1/2 inches by 2 inches. Fold long struts in half lengthwise and wing struts crosswise; crimp and shape the ends into tabs.

  3. 3

    Insert tabs 1, 3 and 5 into the body of the plane, tabs 2 and 4 split to make tail support. Make one slit in the upright. Cut a 3-by-6 inch rectangle for the horizontal tailpiece, and cut 3 slits for tabs on the upright.

  4. 4

    Form the wings by cutting 2 strips 3 1/2 inches wide. Overlap strips to make a rectangle 3 1/2 inches by 13 inches, and rivet strips together. Cut slits 2 inches from ends to fit the tabs of the long struts. Make 1/2-inch crease on both long sides and round wingtips. Punch a hole in the center of wing. Repeat process for the second wing.

  5. 5

    Make a 3-by-7 inch rectangle for the tail upright, fold crosswise and rivet. Make 4 cuts that are each 1/2-inch along the bottom to create 5 tabs.

  6. 6

    Slice the tops off of 2 cans. Make 3 slits in the side to accommodate the 3 tabs on the tailpiece and 2 side-by-side slits for the tail rest. Attach. On the second can, cut 2 4-inch slits 1 inch apart, punch a hole through the can and slide the wings through the slits. Cut slits for the short wing struts. On the bottom, cut slits for the wheel struts and attach.

  7. 7

    Slide the 2 halves of the airplane body together. Attach the top wing to body with 4 short struts, and attach the wings to each other with long struts.

    Wheels and Propeller

  1. 1

    Punch holes in the center of 4 bottoms. Place 2 bottoms together, convex sides facing out, and carefully press one edge around the other to form a wheel. Repeat for second wheel.

  2. 2

    Clip a wire hanger 7 inches in length. Cut a 3-by-5 inch rectangle, and fold lengthwise with wire hanger in the fold. Thread the wheels onto the wire on each end.

  3. 3

    Cut one can, with bottom intact, in half. Make cuts lengthwise about 1 inch apart around the entire can, and bend each strip up to form propeller. Rivet to the front of the body.

  4. 4

    Thread the wire hanger through the holes punched earlier through the body and wings. Bend one end to form the hanger for the plane.

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