In 2004, The Chicago Museum of Science & Industry accquired Wright Redux and Packer Engineering’s “The Sprirt of Glen Ellyn,” a fully operational replica of the Wright brother’s “Kitty Hawk” (with over 100 flights, it is the first Kitty Hawk replica to ever gain FAA approval), and Chicago Flyhouse was hired to permanently install this unique piece in the museum’s main rotunda.
With an eye on creating a display strong enough to support the weight of the aircraft, but that would reflect the grace and power of the craft in flight, Flyhouse designed and fabricated a custom steel frame with a curve that matched the glider’s wing shape. The frame was attached to the internal structure of the museum, allowing us to suspend the plane from a single pick-point that seemingly dissapeared through the rotunda.
To angle and stabilize the craft, Flyhouse ran fine wire through the plane’s wing tips, and secured it to the internal wires of the plane’s own wing construction, providing secure but completely discreet support that will withstand the passage of time.
Both Flyhouse and the Museum of Science and Industry were extremely pleased with the delicate, almost “invisible” look of the rigging design, and the final effect of the Kitty Hawk replica suspended in the rotunda is an impressive spectacle for visitors entering the museum.
For more information visit The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry‘s website.