The Do-It-Yourself 747

By Ron Wanttaja (

(Posted to rec.aviation.homebuilt March 1996)

In article <4klht8$>, Cristobal Castro wrote:
>Hello!, somebody has, or know how to have, plans of Boeing 747 airplane.

Boy, are YOU in luck!

A while back, I went and toured the 747 assembly plant in Everett, Washington. The Boeing 747 is a fantastic airplane, surely a marvel of our age.

I was so impressed that I thought, "Hey, I wonder if *I* could build one of these?" So I went up to the tour guide and asked her if plans of the 747 were available.

"They sure are," she said.

"Great! How much?"

"Five hundred big ones."

Hey, I thought. Heck, Falco plans cost almost five hundred bucks, and here I'd be able to carry a lot more passengers a lot faster. So I handed over my AMEX gold card and went home with a complete set of gen-u-wine construction drawings for a Boeing 747-421.

Two days latter, I was sweeping my shop, getting ready for the big project. Not that it *really* needed cleaning, of course, but I figured the 747 would take a few clecos, and sweeping the floor is a good way to gather up the loose ones.

Anyway, a Fedex truck drove up, with a statement from American Express. I nearly flipped. The plans for the 747 weren't five *hundred* dollars...Boeing had charged me *$500,000*!!!!!! I mean, heck, the plans came in a nice set of a dozen mahogany file cabinets, but that doesn't make them worth half a million dollars.

I immediately called Boeing, of course. I offered to return them. "Uh-uh," they said. "How do we know you haven't been running Xerox (tm) copies for the last couple of days? If we take the plans back, that doesn't mean you won't be taxiing a brand new Wanttaja 747 out of your garage two years from now, won't it?"

I coulda died! I settled down on the couch, stunned. It was just like the time I'd bought the Mrs. Field's recipe, and the Red Velvet Cake one before that. HOW can these companies keep taking advantage of the hard-working American consumer?

But then it hit me: Heh, heh, I'll get back at Boeing, the same way I got my revenge on the cookie people: I'll POST the entire construction plans to the Internet!

So here is Part 1 of 17,321 on "Building Your Own 747":

For Part 1, you will need:

    100,000 sq. ft of .040 Aluminum, alloy 7075T-6
    2,000 gallons of BMS-142 Alodyne
    40,000 Scotch-Brite (tm) pads
    1 American French Pumper Truck, 500-gallon capacity
    1 GMC Trent Division Street Sweeper, Model ST-401
    1 pair tin snips
    55 Gallons rubber cement
You'll also need a large, flat area (preferably indoors) about 400 feet square. If outdoors, you want REALLY short grass.

Note: When buying the aluminum, make sure your rolls are *at least 12-feet wide*. DO NOT let the vendor supply you with 12-inch-wide rolls! These are for gutters.

Step 1: Lay the Aluminum flat in the working area

Step 2: Attach the Scotch-Brite (tm) pads to the buffers on the GMC Sweeper.

Step 3: Drive the sweeper over the aluminum, buffing to a dull sheen. Replace the Pads as necessary

Step 4: Load the alodyning solution into the Fire Truck

Step 5: Let stand 25 minutes

Step 6: Flush the alodyne off with tap water, let dry

Step 7: Flip the aluminum over (you may want to have a friend help) and repeat.

Step 8: Print out the part layout diagram included at the end of this posting.

Step 9: Paste the layout diagram to the aluminum using the rubber cement.

Step 10: Cut the parts out using the tin snips.

Next week: Part 2 covers corrosion proofing. Keep your eyes open for used cattle troughs, etc, to help apply the zinc chromate.

Ron "You ARE falling for this, aren't you?" Wanttaja


PARTS LAYOUT PATTERN: The following pages will print out the outline of all the .040" aluminum parts for the 747 on the standard output. Numbers are printed in the corners of each page... tape the pages together, overlapping the appropriate numbers. ACCURACY IN THIS PHASE IS VITALLY IMPORTANT! Part numbers are also included.
==============================CUT TO THIS LINE==========================
1                                                                      2
       |-------------------------------------------------|  |-----------
       |   Part D545-70021 Port Outer Rib #1             |   |
       |                                                 |    | Part D54
        |                                               |      |

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