747 ‘Rolling Sculpture’ For Burning Man


There are plenty who would agree that a Boeing 747 is a work of art but a California group is turning a worn-out airframe into a functional sculpture. The Big Imagination Foundation is buying an old 747-300 and plans to turn it into a gigantic “people carrier” for the annual Burning Man event in the Nevada desert. “The 747 is so beautiful that we want to modify it as little as possible. I want it to look like a 747,” foundation CEO Ken Feldman told the Puget Sound Business Journal. The aircraft will be stripped of all flying and control surfaces and engines but will keep its landing gear for the rolling part. The remainder will be turned into a double-decker wagon pulled by an aircraft tug for giving people rides around the sprawling event.

Feldman said he went looking specifically for a 300 model because it has an extended upper deck. It appears the upper deck will be turned into a patio, while the configuration of the capacious main cabin is not clear. Judging by the banks of speakers arrayed on the belly of the former aircraft, the ride is unlikely to be quiet. “What’s important for us is that people can come on board and have a great time, and hopefully have some kind of meaningful experience,” he said. “We’re interested in creating community space, where people can come get out of the sun … On the inside you can chill out and have a good time.” Feldman insists the project is respectful to the heritage of the aircraft and it’s a much better fate than the one that it’s facing. “The plane we’re looking at,” he said. “If we don’t use it, it’s going to be turned into beer cans.” The aircraft is at an undisclosed boneyard in the Southwest and Feldman said teams of volunteers will work on the conversion between now and the Aug. 30 start of Burning Man.