This clip has been making the rounds everywhere lately, and for good reason. Just 10 seconds long and guaranteed to put an instant smile on your face. Created by Wayne Unten. (via The Kid Should See This)
Inspired by high school architecture class where he was assigned to create simple paper models using cut paper manilla folders, San Francisco-based designer Luca Iaconi-Stewart went home to begin construction on an extremely ambitious project: a 1:60 scale reproduction of a Boeing 777 using some of the techniques he learned in class. That was in 2008, when Iaconi-Stewart was just a junior in high school.
Unbelievably, the project continues five years later as he works on and off to perfect every aspect of the plane. Relying on detailed schematics of an Air India 777-300ER he found online, he recreates the digital drawings in Adobe Illustrator and then prints them directly onto the paper manilla folders. But everything has to be perfect. So perfect, that Iaconi-Stewart says he’s actually built two airplanes, the one you see here and the numerous failed attempts including three tails, two entire sets of wings, and multiple experiments to ensure everything is just so.
The paper plane-making wunderkind hopes to finally wrap up the project this summer and isn’t quite sure what will happen next, but thinks an even larger 20-foot model could be an interesting next step. So far there are no plans for the completed model to go anywhere, but it would look great in an aeronautical museum or in the lobby of a certain aircraft manufacturer’s lobby. Just some suggestions. All photos courtesy Luca Iaconi-Stewart. (via Wired)
Chances are if you’ve on the internet over the last few years you’ve run into a few amazing bird murmuration videos, like this one from Islands and Rivers or the one we featured on Colossal from Neels Castillion, where countless numbers of starlings flock together and move almost impossibly in concert. Artist Dennis Hlynsky, a professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, wondered what would happen if he could better trace the flight paths of individual birds, what kinds of patterns would emerge from these flying social networks?
Hlynsky first started filming birds in 2005 using a small Flip video recorder, but now uses a Lumix GH2 to record gigabytes of bird footage from locations around Rhode Island. He then edits select clips with After Effects and other tools to create brief visual trails that illustrate the path of each moving bird. Non-moving objects like trees and telephone poles remain stationary, and with the added ambient noise of where he was filming, an amazing balance between abstraction and reality emerges. The birds you see aren’t digitally animated or layered in any way, but are shown just as they’ve flown, creating a sort of temporary time-lapse. Above are three of my favorite videos, but he has many more including the movement of insects, ducks, and other animals.
Created by the team at Ogilvy 12th Floor for British Airways, these awesome billboards installed in London’s Piccadilly Circus and Chiswick interactively display information about the flight that appears immediately overhead. Using custom-built surveillance technology the billboards display the flight number and route information in sync with a recorded video of a child who appears to be pointing at each plane as it soars above. Pretty fun. (via PSFK)
When he was just 16 years old Luigi Prina entered and won a national aircraft modeling competition. When he went to collect the prize money the organizers asked the boy why his father couldn’t come and collect it himself. Nearly fifty years later the now successful architect met a painter and boat builder named Eugenio Tomiolo and while they were talking made a bet that perhaps Prina could take one of his small model ships and make it fly like an airplane. Tomolio accepted and it wasn’t long before a small flying boat was whirring in circles around his small studio that coincidentally had clouds painted on the ceiling. A new passion was born and Prina has since dedicated nearly 20 years of his later life to building flying model boats, bicycles and other unconventional aircraft.
The Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition was established in 1980 by the American Helicopter Society to help foster the creation of the first human-powered helicopter. To win the prize a team of engineers would have to build a helicopter powered solely by a human that would achieve a flight duration of 60 seconds, reach an altitude of 3 meters (9.8 ft), while remaining in a 10 meter (32.8 ft) square. The first attempt wouldn’t even leave the ground until 1989 when the Da Vinci III built by students Cal Poly San Luis Obispo flew for 7.1 seconds.
Over 33 years have passed since the creation of the AHS Sikorsky Prize and dozens teams have tried to win it. Finally, on June 13th of this year the AeroVelo team from the University Of Toronto managed to fly their Atlas Human-Powered Helicopter for 64.1 seconds, reaching an altitude of 11 feet (3.3 meters). The Atlas is a mammoth four rotor helicopter that despite measuring 154 feet (47 meters) across weighs only 119 pounds. The results were just verified this morning and the AeroVelo team was officially declared the winners of the $250,000 award. Watch the record-breaking flight above and read more over on the Huffington Post. Surely Da Vinci is fist-pumping in his grave.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention this post made my palms sweat a bit while writing the details, but despite the unnerving visuals of these downed aircraft, each one of these photographs by Dietmar Eckell tells the story of a genuine miracle. In his series Happy End Eckell captures incredible moments in aviation history where planes went down and everyone walked away or was rescued shortly thereafter. Above are just a selection of photos, many more of which can be found over on his website, where you can also explore Eckell’s unceasing fascination with abandoned locations and objects. He’s currently raising money over on Indiegogo to print a 96-page book complete with 50 photos and accompanied by facts about each plane and the story of the survivors. (via laughing squid)