Plane Landing (2003 — events ongoing)
Helium inflatable balloon
Aleksandra Mir (SWE, USA) lives in London. Mir’s vision for Plane Landing centers on the creation of a purpose-designed helium balloon in the shape and size of a passenger jet plane, suspended above the ground in a permanent state of landing.
Originally commissioned by Michael Stanley for the Compton Verney House trust in 2003, Plane Landing is based on a simple conceit, where the primitive technologies of balloon travel masquerade as a high-tech jet plane. Yet its engineering presents more than one fundamental paradox: how to make a balloon, using material that is lighter than air, in the shape of an object which was originally designed to carry over 400 tonnes of steel; how to balance a balloon in the form of a cross, when the perfect shape to sustain the elements is a sphere; how to tether the plane firmly to the ground, when its perfect aerodynamic shape will want it to fly. These challenges have taken the project out of the realm of aesthetics and into the fields of science, aeronautics, engineering and design.