The Weird World of Folk Aviators
With his whimsical sculptures, Gregory Bryant celebrates early ideas about winged flight.
- By Rebecca Maksel
- Air & Space magazine, May 2012
Eric Long, NASM
For this Aerial Cabin, Bryant had nothing more to go on than a single illustrated reference in a Russian-language book. "The book offered little information," he says, "except to note its 1876 appearance in the Letters to the Editor section of Scientific American from a Mr. Lemka. “That's one I like in particular,” says Bryant, “because it's so unaerodynamic. The rigging does not make a lot of sense. I know that the rigging is supposed to go through the wheel, but to what purpose is impossible to say, because it is tied down on both ends. The inventor planned it to fly at the rate of 60 miles an hour.
Bryant says the Aerial Cabin is as faithful to Lemka's drawing as he could make it. "It's not like this person was just idly daydreaming, he says. "To come up with the logic of the sails and wings—this is the work of several days or weeks or months."
Made of cardboard, paper, toothpicks, plastic (for the windows), cooking skewers, tempera paint.