The Evolution of the Soda Can airplane through the 21st Century

The art of building a soda can airplane has hardly changed as we head into the 21st century. Sure a few soda can airplane vendors have made some gains. But by and large soda can airplanes just haven’t changed that much.

Until now.

You might be asking yourself at this point what makes a good soda can airplane model. Is it just stickling a couple of cans together with some wings and calling it good? Is it using a couple of bulkheads with some cans while adding plastic RC plane parts to dress it up?

I don’t think so.

Soda can airplanes have needed a facelift for some time that much is certain. Think I’m kidding? Do a Google search or check out Etsy or eBay. You’re going to see the typical can airplanes made up of a couple of cans with wings stuck to them. Stubby looking biplanes with whirligig propellers. Don’t get me wrong, those are neat and all but they’re so the last generation of soda can airplanes.

I have seen the next gen of soda can airplanes and they don’t look anything like the ones of yesteryear. Even biplanes have gotten a lift and look like they could take off and head off into no man’s land. Then there’s the single engine piston soda can airplanes of the Second World War. The ones I am seeing actually look like Mustangs, Thunderbolts and Corsairs. And don’t even get me started on the Jet aircraft. We’re talking iconic jets like the F-15 Eagle, the F-14 Tomcat, and the A-10 Thunderbolt II. When you build a soda can airplane F-4 Phantom for example, the nose cone has got to perfect and the intakes have got to look like the real deal.

But beyond building these soda can airplanes, you’ve got to make it easy for others. The plans have to be a bit challenging yes. But the average soda can modeler has to be able to follow the steps and actually make the soda can plane. If they can cut, fold and glue, then they’ve got it made. And guess what, I’ve seen these planes and I know where you can get the plans to make them. But before I tell you, you need to check these soda can airplanes out for yourself:

As you can see, these aren’t your Grand Pappy’s soda can airplanes and they’re not your Dad’s airplanes either. They’re the next gen of soda can airplane modeling plain and simple. These soda can airplane plans and templates are drawn to be as realistic as they can possible be. The average soda can plane modeler should be able to build stunning soda can airplanes with a little practice and some due diligence. Yes, they’re not going to be as easy to build as your Dad’s soda can airplanes, but they’re going to look a hell of a lot better than just the prototypical stubby looking soda can fuselage with a couple of wings stuck to it.

While there have been a number of big name soda can plane vendors out there for a number of years, none of them have ever really pushed the envelope. Realism just wasn’t a factor. It was like playing horse shoes-close was good enough.

This is why soda can airplanes have needed an upgrade as we head into the 21st century. There had to be a compromise between easy to reproduce and being realistic at the same time. But modelers also needed a challenge. They needed to have their skills tested and pushed forward instead of simply accepting the status quo.

And guess what?

Soda can Models and the Aluminum Air Force did precisely that. Yeah our soda can models aren’t like Nikita Khrushchev sausages, you aren’t going to pump three or four of them out in a week. But you will build jets that look like real jets and World War Two fighters that look like the actual airplane. Your biplanes will actually look like different soda can airplanes and not the same plane but made out of different cans. And the best part is you won’t need fiddly plastic propellers and wheels to dress them up. I mean why go through all the trouble to build soda can airplanes if you’re just gonna stick cheap plastic parts on it right? Why do that when you can reproduce your own parts right on the workbench with the right templates.

And the right templates are everything.

If you’re not using the right soda can airplane plans, soda can airplane templates or soda can airplane instructions, then you’re already building with one hand tied behind your back. And if you’re using antiquated 20th Century plans, well it’s time to upgrade to 21st Century beverage can model plans.

How do you do that, you ask?

It’s simple.

Head over to or and browse through over 120 different build it yourself plans files. Then if you’re game, choose a plans file or two, checkout through PayPal and start building the instant you download your plans files. And unlike the other guys, if you get stuck, we have the resources to help you get past any soda can plane problem. Our tutorials and social media resources will get you through any conundrum you might face. If you’re still stuck you can email one of our beta builders and get advice straight from expert builders who built every model on our sites.

So in conclusion, if you clicked on this page because you were looking for information on soda can airplanes, it’s your lucky day. We know a bit about the subject and we’ve got five IPMS awards on the mantle to prove it. The other guys have been too busy beating up on Aunt Polly’s Afghan or Grandma’s cross stitch to take on some mean competition like we have. But enough about that. It’s time for YOU to decide which kind of soda can airplanes YOU want to build: antiquated 20th century pop can airplanes like your pappy used to build, or 21st century soda can models that will make you an elite beverage can modeler.

The choice is yours.