Lineage of Wings 1992

Public Art

Phoenix Skyharbor International Airport

Located in Terminal 4 of the Skyharbor International Airport, “Lineage of Wings” traces the history of commercial airliners in American aeronautical history.  Along a 960’ “skybridge” linking two terminal wings, the project is located in 22 pairs of wing shaped glass panels.  Each pair commemorates a historical aircraft, displayed in drawings and technical data.  Also part of this “data” are 21 poetic allusions to flight from world culture and history, comprised from poetry, myth, novels and non-fiction.

Each drawing is produced by etching the glass with a low powered CO2 laser.  This process is performed on the same machine used to laser cut titanium, stainless steel and aluminum parts for contemporary aeronautic companies.

This process is different from sand-blasting or water etching which “clouds” or cuts the glass like crystal designs in glassware.  Rather, the glass is fractured and broken at a microscopic level that allows light to pass through it prismatically.  During the day these colors are noted as sparkles as one passes by the windows.  At night, the glass sparkles in white highlights.

Lineage of Wings 1000 ft walkway
Lineage of Wings 1000 ft walkway
Lineage of Wings Source Drawing
Lineage of Wings Source Drawing
Lawson C-1 Airliner
Lawson C-1 Airliner
Douglas DC-3
Douglas DC-3
Douglas M-2
Douglas M-2
Boeing 377 panel in the sun
Boeing 377 panel in the sun
Detail of the laser etched letters
Detail of the laser etched letters