Model Airport Project

I collect 1:400 scale model airplanes and I am planning on building a model airport. My model airport will not be as cool as the huge live-action model airport in Hamburg, but it will look more like this (but in the layout of Atlanta’s Airport). The new airport will be located in St. Louis and called Charles Lindbergh International Airport, to pay homage to the first man to cross the Atlantic in the Spirit of St. Louis airplane. St. Louis does have a nice and underutilized existing airport, but a major international airport needs space for A380s, an American Express Centurion Lounge, and a large hotel connected to the terminals, so that is why I did not recreate an exact copy of St. Louis’ airport. 

Below are the exact models that I have. The pictures are not mine, but once I build my airport, I will take high-quality photos. If you would like more information on 1:400 model airplanes, I recommend this website.

  • Air France 787-9
    Air France 787-9
  • Delta A350
    Delta A350
  • Lufthansa A380
    Lufthansa A380
  • Qatar 787-8
    Qatar 787-8
  • Qantas 787-9
    Qantas 787-9
  • Emirate A380
    Emirate A380
  • ANA 787-9
    ANA 787-9
  • Norwegian 787-9
    Norwegian 787-9
  • Air Force One 747-8
    Air Force One 747-8
  • Alaska Air 737 (Celebrating Alaska-Virgin merger)
    Alaska Air 737 (Celebrating Alaska-Virgin merger)
  • Singaore A350
    Singaore A350


Why St. Louis? 

This is completely hypothetical. St. Louis is a great city, but too small for a major international hub. However, it would be a great hub for an airline like Alaska or JetBlue, who really lack a Midwest hub. The real St. Louis Airport can handle 30 million people a year (reached that number in 1999 and 2000), but now flights are down to about 14 million people with the loss of TWA. 

  • Former TWA Hub: From the early 1980s until the late 1990s, St. Louis was the main hub for TransWorld Airlines (“TWA”). TWA liked St. Louis’ central location and even established three long-haul international routes between St. Louis and Frankfurt, Paris, and London. Unfortunately, Carl Icahn conducted a hostile takeover of TWA in the 1980s, loaded TWA with a tremendous amount of debt, and stripped TWA of all of its’ valuable assets. TWA never recovered and declared bankruptcy twice before being sold to American Airlines.
  • Central Location– St. Louis is in the perfect spot for a major domestic or international hub. Stopping in St. Louis only adds: 0 miles between Los Angeles and Washington D.C., 1 mile between New York City and Phoenix, 10 miles between New York and Los Angeles, 13 miles between San Francisco and Washington D.C., 41 miles between New York City and San Francisco, and 53 miles between Seattle and Miami. (all calculated via
    • Alternatively, flying through Dallas would, respectively, add the following mileage versus a non-stop route: 488 miles, 105 miles, 151 miles, 217 miles, 269 miles, and 56 miles. Therefore, on all of those routes, St. Louis is a more convenient hub for connecting traffic.
  • Close to Other Major Cities– St. Louis is about a four-hour drive from several major cities: Chicago, Kansas City, Memphis, Indianapolis, Nashville, and Louisville. Many people would not mind driving that distance or taking a short flight for an international flight.
  • Great City– St. Louis is a very underrated city to visit. Check out our city guide
  • Low Landing Fees– St. Louis convinced WOW air to start service at their airport by giving them an $800,000 marketing budget and waived landing fees for 2 years. St. Louis would likely do the same to bring other airlines like Norwegian to St. Louis.
  • Good Weather– Chicago is very close to St. Louis, but receives on average about 5 times the amount of snow compared to St. Louis. Snow can cause significant delays and Chicago’s airports are already quite overcrowded.



TWA Route Map


Charles Lindbergh International Airport


For my model airport, I try to follow two rules. First, each airplane represents two daily international flights (which in real life would be 2-4 actual planes) or four daily domestic flights. Second, the routes must be feasible in both distance and destination (the airline flies that route from the US). If you were wondering why I have so many wide body aircraft instead of narrowbody (737 or A320), it is because the wide body aircraft are about 2-3 times the size of the narrowbody and higher quality for only about $7-10 more. (Narrowbody models are about $30-35 and Widebodies are $40-50).

My next planes I buy will likely be a JetBlue A321, Hawaiian A330, a U.S. Airways plane, two Southwest 737s, and a TWA 747. 


AirlineAirplaneDestinationDistance (in miles)Daily FrequencyReal US City Destination
Air Canada787-8Vancouver1,7711xNew York
Air Canada787-8Toronto6652xReal Route (much smaller plane)
Air Force One747-8 (put in service in 2020)Wherever the President wants to go.N/AN/AN/A
Air France787-9Papeete (island in Pacific)5,4481XLos Angeles
Air France787-9Paris4,3981xHouston or Chicago (A330)
Alaska737Seattle1,7102xReal Route
Alaska737San Diego1,5582xReal Route
ANA787-9Tokyo (Narita)6,3701xChicago
ANA787-9Tokyo (Haneda)6,4021xChicago
Avianca787-800Bogota2,5561xLos Angeles
Avianca787-800San Salvador1,7451xChicago
British AirwaysA380London4,2012xLos Angeles
DeltaA350Shanghai (PVG)7,1981xDetroit
DeltaA350Bejing (PEK)6,7461xDetroit
EmiratesA380Milan (MXP)4,7681xNew York City
EmiratesA380Dubai7,5041xNew York City
LevelA330-200Paris (ORY)4,4021xNew York
LufthansaA380Munich4,7791xChicago (A340)
Norwegian787-9Cophenhagen4,5271xLos Angeles
Qantas787-9Brisbane8,7501xLos Angeles
Qantas787-9Sydney via Mexico City9,497 (1,429 + 8,068)1xFake Route, Direct route would be longest in the world.
Qatar787-8Doha7,3902xChicago or Dallas (777)
SingaporeA350Hong Kong (then Singapore)7,9481xSan Francisco
SingaporeA350Manchester (UK)4,0761xHouston
Thai787-900Bangkok8,7542xNo U.S. Routes
TWA767Amsterdam4,3711xNew York (old route)
TWA767Rome5,0661xNew York (old route)


Route Maps

St. Louis to North America


St. Louis to Europe



St. Louis to Asia, Australia, and South America


St. Louis to the Middle East



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