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Stunt Plane Sculptures

The ‘Slipstream’ Sculpture is Inspired by Spiral Flight Paths

‘Slipstream’ is a large aluminum-clad sculpture that has been installed in Terminal 2 in London’s Heathrow Airport. Designed by artist Richard Wilson, the sculpture twists and turns to simulate the flight path of a small airplane flying through the sky and performing acrobatic maneuvers.

Wilson wanted Slipstream to replicate the flight path in a fluid, 3D form. His silver-colored creation is suspended across the atrium-like space of the new extension to Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 2. A computer program was used to plot the different points of movement of a stunt plane and translate those into a tangible shape for the sculpture.

The sculpture is 78 meters long and weighs 85 tons. Structural elements of the sculpture were specially designed by engineering firm Price & Myers.


Trend Themes
1. Kinetic Sculptures - The use of technology to create sculptures that simulate movement offers opportunities for interactive installations in public spaces.
2. Data-driven Art - The use of computer programs to plot movements for art installations allows for the creation of unique sculptures with a strong conceptual foundation.
3. Aviation-inspired Art - The inspiration of aviation in art can lead to stunning pieces that capture the essence of flight in new and engaging ways.
Industry Implications
1. Aviation - Collaboration between artists and aviation companies can lead to the creation of unique pieces that celebrate the beauty of flight and showcase innovation.
2. Architecture - Kinetic sculptures and data-driven art can complement and enhance the design of public buildings or spaces, creating a more immersive environment for visitors.
3. Engineering - Partnerships between artists and engineering firms offer opportunities to push the boundaries of what is possible in sculpture and create large-scale installations that capture the imagination.
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