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Handley Page’s Revolutionary Gugnunc with Elegant Design by Dame Zaha Hadid

12 June 2018

 

Handley Page Gugnunc—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Handley Page designed what became to be known as their Gugnunc (after a popular comic book character’s speaking at the time) for a 1929 aviation competition to make flying safer. Back in the day too many pilots crashed their aircraft after stalling and spinning while low to the ground. Alas, the Gugnunc came in second and by only a single point. Significantly, this aircraft had flaps and wing slats (also called slots)—presaging what became common design components in aeronautics.

Handley Page Gugnunc—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Handley Page Gugnunc with design by Dame Zaha Hadid—Catherine Dowman/Travel for Aircraft

The Science Museum, London brilliantly combined the Gugnunc in an exhibition of mathematics with the engagement of renowned architect Dame Zaha Hadid (unfortunately deceased a few years now and a great loss to us). Hadid, known for her use of curves, designed the installation inspired by airflow which would come off the wings of the Handley Page in flight by using changing color hues to imply flight’s dynamism. The beauty and elegance of math is both implied by the smoothly curved surfaces as well as intricately by the subtle expression of contour lines (isoline, if preferred). Wonderfully done!

Handley Page Gugnunc with design by Dame Zaha Hadid—Catherine Dowman/Travel for Aircraft

Handley Page Gugnunc with design by Dame Zaha Hadid—Catherine Dowman/Travel for Aircraft

Handley Page Gugnunc with design by Dame Zaha Hadid—Catherine Dowman/Travel for Aircraft

Handley Page Gugnunc with design by Dame Zaha Hadid—Catherine Dowman/Travel for Aircraft

Handley Page Gugnunc with design by Dame Zaha Hadid—Catherine Dowman/Travel for Aircraft

Handley Page Gugnunc with design by Dame Zaha Hadid—Catherine Dowman/Travel for Aircraft

Handley Page Gugnunc with design by Dame Zaha Hadid—Catherine Dowman/Travel for Aircraft

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 12 June 2018 01:27

    That is eye candy. Both the airplane and the art. Well done. Beautiful photo compositions too.

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      12 June 2018 06:40

      The beautiful compositions are Cate’s work. While I was thinking “Oooh…slats!” she was working on Zaha Hadid’s artistry.

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