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One of the earliest concept sketches of Slipstream
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The rendering stage of Slipstream using Dassault Systèmes' 3DEXPERIENCE Technology
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The finished article
Edwin Heathcoate of the Financial Times was disappointed after his sneak preview of Heathrow’s new passenger terminal at Terminal 2. The £2.5bn building will accommodate over 20 million passengers a year but the journalist was left a little underwhelmed by the renovation suggesting that the “Building lacks any spark to lift it above the ordinary”.
However the skeptical journalist did reserve some praise for one part of the building in particular. The UK’s largest sculpture “Slipstream” by Richard Wilson is described as the only highlight in the terminal. The aluminium sculpture, based on the flight path of an aerobatic display, was designed using the same Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE Technology that is used for the design, development and production of the very Boeing and Airbus aircraft that will carry many of the passengers to T2.
At 78 m Slipstream is one of Europe’s longest sculptures, it is supported between two passenger walkways on four slim columns 18 m apart, the sculpture weighing around 77 tonnes represents flight. It contains 30,000 unique parts and uses more than 300,000 rivets. Each part was digitally modelled using 3DEXPERIENCE Technology. This ensured that the artist's design intent was retained during Slipstream's development. The use of this software meant that engineering issues, such as structural integrity, exact fit, alignment and centre of gravity were fully understood and resolved digitally before the physical form, comprising 23 separate sections, was made, delivered and installed.
Aerospace manufacturers use the same Dassault Systèmes 3D simulation software to define, communicate, collaborate and predict how their designs will perform. This means that, like Slipstream, they can be optimised before they are built for the best possible outcome.