top of page

Plane Sculpture for Children's Museum, commissioned by Mayor of Tucson, AZ

     RAD was commissioned by the former Mayor of Tucson, AZ, to build a sculpture of the China Clipper, a famous airplane.
     Mayor Bob Walkup was an aviation engineer before his political career.  This plane held special significance to him, as it was the first plane to cross the Pacific ocean to China, and he wanted a sculpture of it to be on display flying overhead in the Children's Museum of Tucson.  

     I was contacted to help make his dream a reality.  We based the structure off of a set of drawings for a wooden model of the plane.  I designed it in 3d software and created each piece, and the method for slot fitting them all together.  The Mayor used his engineering knowledge to determine the loading of the wings, since the span was over 8', and it was hanging, not flying.  This was a complex structural challenge, but we conquered it together.
     After I laser cut the pieces from clear acrylic, Mayor Walkup assembled it himself, following a detailed instruction booklet I created.  We 3d printed a few pieces, like the engines, and then installed it in the Children's Museum.  I hope that it is inspiring children about engineering, flight, sculpture, and the wonders of the world.

The China Clipper on display in the air
The China Clipper airplane from below
The airplane from the side in the Tucson Arizona Children's Museum
Dramatic photo of the airplane flying near another balloon sculpture
The china Clipper Airplane sculpture flying towards the viewer
Russell Simpson and former Mayor Bob Walkup standing in front of their sculpture in the Children's Museum
bottom of page