Car and Plane Connectors

  • 2021

  • Product
    Sport and Lifestyle

Designed By:

  • Merrick Russell
  • Martyn Harris

Commissioned By:

Designability Group Pty Ltd

Designed In:


The car and plane connectors allow students to build simple working model cars and planes with balsa wood and coreflute. This Australian designed connection system has proved especially useful in school-based STEM when used in conjunction with the PowerAnchor.

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  • The challenge has been to design a system that allows school aged students from year 4 to year 11 to quickly build working model cars and planes. The solution need to encourage a range of student ideas and stimulate creativity. It must maximise the re-use of parts and materials. The solution must be easy to use and allow for rapid modifications of student design. The solution needs to allow for a motor to power the vehicle. The solution must hold together the elements of the vehicle so that it does not easily fall apart. It must be visually appealing

  • The solution has been a range of small plastic connectors that hold together the various parts needed to create working model cars and planes. These fit together with either balsa for planes and coreflute for cars and allow a vast range of student designs each of which can be tested on the PowerAnchor. They are easily removed which makes modification fast and easy, as well as ensuring maximum reusability of all parts. Previous solutions involved glue which did not allow for this requirement. The connectors are cheap, durable and suited to classroom use.

  • The greatest impact is seen in the classroom in how the students make use of the connectors to develop their own designs and rapid modifications. The benefit is in learning outcomes as students readily see how variations affect vehicle performance. They start to think like engineers. Previously students have used glue, but this meant the materials were unusable at the end of the unit of work. The connectors have brought a greater level of sustainability through the ability to re-use the project materials. The solution has been readily accepted and valued by the market increasing customer loyalty and market share.

  • The plane connectors have been kept as light as possible to allow for maximum lift. The car connectors allow for multiple axle locations and heights.