Wanting a cool display model, or interested in finding out what power functions can do? Then perhaps the LEGO 42066 Air Race Jet is the set for you!
LEGO 42066 Air Race Jet Set Review
This Technic set was released in 2017. It comes with 1151 pieces, and includes a battery box and M-motor. It also sports a striking black, red and blue colour scheme which looks rather good. This was a set that I was not expecting, as it was a surprise Christmas present! I’m not all that experienced in the Technic theme (it’s only my third Technic set) so read on to find out what I thought!
This is my first review of a Lego set, so lets get started!
The LEGO Air Race Jet Build
The Air Race Jet build starts off by building a contraption to hold and utilise the M-motor. It soon becomes apparent that if you think that you’ll be able to take the motor out and use it for other purposes, think again! It gets securely integrated into the framework of the underside.
Around step 100 is when we can see it starting to take shape. On the right we have one set of lift-arms which finish at the back of the jet and on the left we have another set of lift-arms which reach out towards the front, however they do not connect to anything currently. This happens quite a lot in the build as you will often find that mechanisms are left half finished, and you move on to something else.
Cockpit and Panels
The next section is the front of the jet – nosecone, cockpit etc. It’s here where we first see evidence of the functions. The front landing wheels are built as well as the cockpit chair and two fans, which we’ll get to later in the review. It’s also here where we start to attach the blue panelling to either side and apply stickers. This set contains 25 stickers and they’re all relatively easily to apply, except for the ones on the wings.
Fast forward a bit and the front is complete, as well as the sides, and the landing gear. We’re up to the wings which require lining up the stickers to make the “41” on each wing. Now this is where I wish LEGO just made one sticker to put over the two black triangular pieces, rather than two stickers, one for each piece as it’s tricky to line them up properly.
Anyway, after the wings, we move onto the rear of the ship; attach the jet nozzle and the fins at the top, slot the battery pack into the middle of the jet and we’re done!
Now I knew nothing about the LEGO 42066 Air Race Jet set, but the functions blew me away. It contains something called “VTOL” which after a bit of research stands for “Vertical Take-off and Landing”. On the top of the jet you’ll notice 2 red switches, each with 3 positions – off, extend and retract. First of all, go to the underside of the jet and slide the battery box to “on”, when you do this you’ll hear the motor start. By flipping the switch on the right of the ship, you’ll cause the jet nozzle to rotate 90 degrees so that’s facing down, ready for vertical take-off. While this happens the hatch at the top of the jet opens and the two hatches directly underneath it open to reveal two spinning fans. One faces up, one down. These fans are constantly spinning, no matter what function is activated. The hatch opening method is surprisingly fluid. The ends of the wings will also rotate downwards. Flipping the same red switch the other way will close the hatches, return the jet nozzle at the back of the jet to a horizontal position and also the rear flaps on the wings.
Now, onto the other red switch. This one operates the landing gear. Flipping it lowers the three beams and once lowered they are locked in. They support the jet’s weight fine and can’t slip backwards due to the worm gears used. And flipping the switch the other way raises them back up and they are concealed in this position. The jet can be pushed around with the wheels down as they spin freely.
The red part of the fins on the top of the jet can also rotate side to side via a gear at the back. When the landing gear is down, the front one can be swivelled left and right via a gear at the top. The cockpit canopy can be opened, and controls can be moved back and forth. The cockpit also has a sticker’d display screen.
The functions are downright brilliant in the LEGO Air Race Jet set. They can move nine different elements, all using the same motor. However, the design of the jet isn’t. The cockpit seems way too big and the wings and fins are ridiculous. The top fins are bigger than the wings and have this weird beam extending from each of them. The wings are ridiculously small. For a jet that size, they needed to be way bigger.
Would I recommend this set? I’m no huge Technic fan, or aviation fan for that matter, but this set surprised me. The amount of mechanisms is amazing and is a testament to the designer’s ingenuity. The shape of the jet is awkward, but I guess they were trying to keep the price down. This set gets 4/5 stars from me, but I would recommend picking it up at a discount.
I just couldn’t help myself so I built a stand for the jet. Also, another issue that bugged me slightly was that if you didn’t want to dry your batteries out, you had to turn off the battery box. This should be simple enough but when you have the two red switches at the top and you’re toggling those on and off, you start to wish there was a way to turn off the battery box from the top as well, as the switch is difficult to locate when you’re holding the plane the right way up and you’re forced to feel for the switch underneath.
So what did I do? I attached a series of axles connected to the on/off switch, weaved it through the structure and it popped up next to the red beams that create that nice stripe halfway down the jet. From here I can push the axle forwards and backwards, and it will turn the battery box on and off. So I can control all the functions and turn it off when I’m done from the top, which makes me pretty happy 🙂
So what do you guys think of the LEGO 42066 Air Race Jet set? Do you own it, or do you plan to pick it up? Comments and criticism welcome!