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My Personal Fascination of Sketching Airplanes

July 7, 2012

Over the years when I travel overseas from Hong Kong, the flight paths usually make stopovers before long haul flights to North American and or European destinations.  These stopovers sometimes can be two hours or more and passengers are always shuttled into the in-transit zone of the airport terminals.

I am sure from your travelling experiences you will also recall that in-transit airport lobbies are boring places, except for those where you get to view the aircraft you are waiting to board. During these occasions I try to occupy my waiting time by sketching. Looking back it seems I always end up sketching the aircraft I am waiting to board rather than the architecture of the lobby.

There is something fascinating about these magical flying machines and the phenomena of flight. Five hundred years ago Leonardo made sketches and notes exploring ways in which he thought it was possible for man to fly.  He was intrigued by the notion that if birds can fly, someday we too will be able.  After the Wright brother’s historic event in 1903, we not only has conquered flight, we have been to the moon and back. Each time I sit to make a sketch of these flying machines I am mystified by the aura of these flying giants.

The personal challenge to sketch an aircraft is to be able to depict the graceful fuselage on a 2D surface in a quick sweeping motion, making the result meaningful and sensitive in its setting. Recently (27th June 2012) on my return journey to Hong Kong, I made this quick sketch at the Taipei International Airport.

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