RED SWAN: The world’s largest fully 3D printed Airplane

Humans have wings envy, which means we have an obsession to fly and throughout human history we have documented evidence of this. Who does not know the story of Icarus and Daedalus? A father and son duo who tried to make mechanical wings to fly. Their adventure with the flight did not last long and came to a tragic end. Wright brothers showed the world that it was possible to fly when the successfully flew in an airplane. We have come a long way since then; we have kind off mastered the technology and build airplanes of all shape and sizes. But did this really change the way we think about flying, I guess NO. There is something intrinsically unsatisfying about doing so in an aluminum behemoth. We still want to fly like birds.

While we are still some centuries away from developing a human powered flying vehicle, the hope still persists. In the mean while our generations of flying enthusiasts are busy using the newly discovered 3D printing technology to make and develop their version of the flying machines. A German designer- Wersey is one such enthusiast who has successfully tested the largest known 3D printed model aircraft.

Red Swan

Mr. Wersey’s airplane was also able to perform aerobatics which delighted an enthusiastic crowd. According to him the whole project took as long as 155 hours of 3D printing and ended up using 2.25 kg of PLA plastic to make the plane. Mr. Wersey is no mug with the 3d printing technology and DIY projects said “My intention was to design a plane with up to a three-meter wingspan without strengthening by carbon tubes–that means one hundred percent [3D] printed. But I had to stop at 1.35 meters because the wing already had reached a weight of almost 1.1 kg.

“My small motor which I used already on my sail plane wouldn’t last for much more weight. Additionally, I thought a flying wing would make less problems to get the CG forwards, because of the short tail. But again I got the same trouble. The big mass of the wing pushed the CG backwards, so I was forced to add a spacer on front. This makes the plane looks a bit like a duck.”

Red Swan

Wersey talks futherabout his ugly ducking..

“The ugly duckling became a swan, so the fairy tale of Hans Christian Andersen came true. Yes I know, it didn’t become the beauty of a swan, but it has this wonderful flight characteristic. It can glide like a sailplane. The motor was often not in use…”

Red Swan

RED SWAN Specifications

  • wing span: 1950 mm
  • wing chord: 336 mm
  • aerodynamic center: 80.2 mm
  • aerodynamic center 8% stability: 61.4 mm
  • wing profil: Clark YS
  • wing overall weight: 1520 g
  • wing area: 65,52 dm²
  • fuselage overall weight 730 g
  • wing loading: 34,3 g/dm²
  • longitudinal stability (Thies) STFs: 65,0
  • motor: RobbeRoxxy BL Outrunner 2834-08
  • propeller: Aeronaut CAM 10 x 6”
  • static thrust: 1100 g (3S Lipo)
  • Print and Material
  • print time wing: 120 h
  • print time fuselage: 35 h
  • used PLA: 1.8 kg

You could see the Red Swan in action at

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