Model masterpiece

We all loved paper airplanes in our youth. But for one young man, a paper airplane has turned into a labor of love that caught our attention—and millions of others across the world.

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All photos courtesy of Luca-Iaconi-Stewart.

Back in 2008, 22-year old Luca Iaconi-Stewart of San Francisco started making a 1:60 scale model of a Boeing 777-300ER using only manila folders. Today, he’s just a few months out from finishing his masterpiece. We talked with him earlier this week to learn more about his passion.

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“I was inspired by my love of aviation and technology and never expected it to grow into what it is now. I never would’ve started if I’d known it would take this long,” he told us.

He started off simply enough by using a can to trace the circular cross section of the airplane. Then, he worked the fuselage, eventually turning to a computer and Adobe to help in the process.

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Luca studied photos and airplane planning documents he found online for dimensions. Someone sent him a training manual which proved to be even more helpful. Throughout the process, he’s worked one step at a time and kept his focus narrow so he didn’t get lost in all the detail.

“It evolved over time. As my abilities evolved, so has the project.”

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Luca’s work has impressed all of us here at Boeing, including 777 vice president and general manager Elizabeth Lund.

“Luca’s work is remarkable and highlights the beautiful design of the 777. I am thoroughly impressed by his craftsmanship and replication of our design,” Lund said.

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Luca chose the 777 for its “aesthetically pleasing” qualities and will use Air India for the livery. He plans to finish up the project this summer. Today, he tipped his hat to the Boeing employees who bring the real 777 to life.

“I give them a lot of credit. I can’t imagine what it’s like to build them all the time. I love the airplane for the visual perspective and when I think of the whole operation, it’s astounding. It must be a cool job.”

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The man behind the masterpiece. Thanks for sharing Luca.

We invite you to check out Luca’s photo gallery and his YouTube channel— including the video below.

Comments (15)

Paul (Sydney, NSW, Australia):

Well done! The details is incredible, as is Luca's dedication to the project. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Stephen A. Donnelly (Auburn, NY 13021):

If I were Boeing, I'd offer this talented, passionate young man a position in the company!

Kadrican Pehlivan (─░stanbul/Turkey):

Hi. I'm a captain in Turkish Airlines. I really congratulate you and I'm impressed of your job.. Good luck.Is it possible to buy unmounted 777 ? Have a great time. ..

Karl (New York):

What a masterpiece! Thanks Randy for bringing this out to us. This is a superb story. Please post some more stories like this in the future.

Dante (Spokane):

Amazingly cool. This young man has a bright future ahead of him. Thanks for sharing Randy.

Cristiano Arruda (Campo Grande, MS, Brazil):

Please, dear Sirs from Boeing Company, hire that guy now! Invest in him!

I ever wanted to study industrial design, but I could never afford it. Now I see that huge talent in that guy, so I want him to enjoy much more of what I could not. Invest in him. The returns will be great for America!

David Balton (Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.):

Randy, HIRE THIS GUY!! :)

John (Dubai):

It's nice to see a global company like Boeing take time and effort to congratulate someone who has a passion. Well done Boeing and well doen Luca. I've seen all your video's and they are captivating!

Han:

I am thoroughly impressed with Luca's work and especially his attention to detail. It is just amazing how he has the dimensions of all aspects of the plane's interior down in a pretty exacting manner. Great job Luca, and thanks for posting this Randy.

Norman (Long Beach, CA):

That is quite a powerful work of art, not just in the outside but the detail in the inside in incredible, even the way it opens is incredible. The most stunning part is the detail on the cockpit and on the engine especially on the blades and thrust reverser components.

This work is very impressive and when completed it should be displayed at the Museum of Flight in Seattle or the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.

Corey A. (Kapolei, Hi):

HIRE THIS MAN! He has such amazing talent!

Bert C (Encinitas, CA):

I've been acquainted with Luca for the past year - long before he made this project "public" ... I can personally recommend him for a professional position as he is not only a highly talented, focused and creative individual, but a young man of high character and integrity. The combination of his skills, determination and passion will lead him to heights that are only limited by his exceptional imagination. CONGRATS to Luca and keep up the BRILLIANT work!

Jason Hodgkiss (FAOR):

As David Balton said, hire the dude for you model shop!

This is the best CV I have even seen for a job interview!

David (New Orleans LA):

Get him before someone else does...He obviously loves Boeing.

Dr Dorothy (Boston):

Well done!

All the best to Boeing and all related!

Congratulations to Boeing for its largest product launch in commercial jetliner history with 2013 net orders of 1037!

Congratulations to Boeing for all its latest hi tech and extreme advanced invention products for our US defense, NASA, commercial, flying hospital, flying operations theatres and etc in the era!

Flying by Boeing X 51 from London to USA could be only 45 minutes,approximately 4,000 miles per hour (6,400 km/h) at altitude, that's really advanced! (The Boeing X-51 is an unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft for hypersonic flight testing. It successfully completed its first free-flight on 26 May 2010 and also achieved the longest duration flight at speeds over Mach 5.)

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