Time of Flight

(Installation, dimensions various, mixed wood, paper, and electrical parts)
This piece represents a resonance between past eras and modern intentions and between the history of Kirkland and the time line of possible futures. Standing at the controls a visitor may launch Dirigibot #8 off on a journey through time against an archival backdrop of undeveloped downtown Kirkland in the 19th century (provided by Rebecca Cummins). Just as Peter Kirk had a vision for Kirkland as a center for steel production and founded the town on that idea, airships began as a turn of the century vision for future mass transport. Both ideas died. But now, while almost viewed of as an anachronistic technology, airships are returning to the present with major companies like Boeing starting up heavy-lift airship projects, and robot airship drones being developed for combat operations. “Time of flight” symbolizes the mental journey back and forward between these modern ideas and the early intentions of the industrial age.

This installation piece involved an airship that moved along a wire and was controlled by a panel. The piece included a bit of interesting “relay logic“. I used three relays to allow the user to drive the motor and hence the airship backwards or forwards. One button made the airship go back, one made it go forwards, and the third stopped the motion. In addition, there were limit switches that stopped it at the ends of its travel.

Time of Flight
Time of FlightTime of Flight