Heathrow Airport, Terminal 4, Departures
Victor Pier 1995 commission proposal
Victor Pier, Terminal 4 Departures walkway runs 700 metres from boarding lounge to departure gate.
At intervals three travelators transport the walking passengers along a white, corrugated clad, 4 metre wide corridor. It takes approximately 10 minutes to cover the full length of the pier.
The proposal was to draw aeroplane vapour trails by cutting and angling the corrugated metal to describe an aerobatic display, looping the loop the length of the pier. The flight path along the corridor would pass from wall to
wall, under the floor then again over the ceiling to pick up further along on the opposite wall with another aerobatic flip.
A specially designed computer programme was developed to calculate the cuts which although simple in form were mathematically extremely complex due to the undulating peaks and troughs of the corrugated metal.
The fluid geometric forms of the corrugated vapour trails and their evidently elaborate calculation would parallel the apparent simplicity of creating drawings in the sky with the complex technology necessary to produce them.