In the realm of live entertainment, innovation knows no bounds. It’s the realm where dreams take flight, and audiences are transported to worlds beyond imagination. Royal Caribbean, a pioneer in redefining cruise ship entertainment, sought to elevate its original production, “Flight: Dare to Dream,” to new heights. To achieve this soaring vision, they turned to the masterful craftsmanship of AMC Fabrication. In this blog, we embark on an exhilarating journey behind the scenes of “Flight,” exploring AMC’s extraordinary contribution—the Wright Brothers’ Plane. This ride-on prop not only defies gravity but also captivates audiences with its realism and theatrical magic, making it a true showstopper in the grand finale.
About the Wright Brothers
The Wright Brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright were American inventors and aviation pioneers who are credited with inventing and building the world’s first successful powered airplane. Their historic achievements in the field of aviation laid the foundation for modern flight. Here is a brief history of the Wright Brothers:
- Early Life: Wilbur Wright was born on April 16, 1867, and Orville Wright on August 19, 1871, in Dayton, Ohio. They were the sons of Milton Wright, a bishop in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, and Susan Catherine Koerner Wright.
- Interest in Flight: The Wright Brothers’ interest in flight began at a young age. The works of aviation pioneers such as Otto Lilienthal and Octave Chanute inspired them. Their fascination with flight led them to conduct experiments with kites and gliders.
- Pioneering Glider Flights: In the late 1890s and early 1900s, Wilbur and Orville conducted a series of experiments with gliders, focusing on controlling the aircraft’s pitch, roll, and yaw. They developed the concept of wing warping, a technique that allowed them to control the aircraft’s roll.
- Powered Flight: On December 17, 1903, at Kill Devil Hills, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the Wright Brothers achieved their most significant milestone. They successfully piloted the Wright Flyer, a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft, for 12 seconds. Orville was the pilot for the first flight, and Wilbur piloted the fourth and final flight of the day, which lasted 59 seconds.
- Continued Innovation: The Wright Brothers refined their aircraft designs and techniques following their historic first flight. They introduced several innovations, including a three-axis control and improved propulsion systems.
- Public Demonstrations: The Wright Brothers conducted public flight demonstrations in Europe and the United States, gaining recognition for their achievements. They established the Wright Company in 1909 to manufacture and sell airplanes.
- Impact on Aviation: The Wright Brothers’ aviation technology breakthroughs revolutionized air travel. Their aircraft designs became the basis for many subsequent developments in aviation. Their contribution to controlled, powered flight marked the birth of the aviation industry.
- Legacy: The Wright Brothers’ achievements are celebrated worldwide. They are considered pioneers of aviation and are often referred to as the “fathers of flight.” Their original Wright Flyer is displayed at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
The Wright Brothers’ dedication, innovation, and determination forever changed the course of history by making human flight a reality. Their pioneering spirit continues to inspire aviators and engineers to this day.
The World of “Flight: Dare to Dream”
Royal Caribbean’s “Flight: Dare to Dream” is an immersive theatrical production that takes passengers on a journey through the history of aviation. This original show combines cutting-edge technology, captivating storytelling, and breathtaking performances to create an unforgettable experience. At its heart lies the Wright Brothers’ Plane, a stunning feat of engineering and artistry brought to life by AMC Fabrication.
Crafting the Dream: Wright Brothers’ Plane
The Wright Brothers’ Plane is more than a prop; it’s a marvel of ingenuity and craftsmanship. AMC Fabrication’s role was to create a ride-on prop that would simulate flight and do so with unparalleled realism. The challenge was to design a piece that could soar over the audience with a performer during the show’s grand finale.
To achieve this, AMC meticulously fabricated the moving set piece from ultralight carbon fiber tubing. This choice of material ensured the plane’s durability. It allowed for precise weight control—a crucial factor when rigging the flyer to the theater’s ceiling and hoisting it above the audience. Safety was paramount in this endeavor, and AMC’s attention to detail ensured that the stunt was executed flawlessly in each performance.
What truly sets the Wright Brothers’ Plane apart is its ability to simulate actual flight motions. The ride-on prop features motorized spinning propellers that add an authentic touch to the performance. Moreover, hand-held controls enable the performer to rotate the plane, enhancing the sense of flight and interactivity with the audience.
Behind the Scenes: Shipping and Storage
AMC Fabrication’s involvement in “Flight: Dare to Dream” extended beyond the fabrication of the plane itself. They also designed and built custom crates for shipping and storing the various components of the plane on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship. These crates were essential in ensuring the safe transport of the intricate set piece between ports of call.
The logistics of a traveling show on a cruise ship are complex, and AMC’s expertise played a crucial role in streamlining this aspect of the production. The custom crates not only protected the plane during transit but also made the setup and teardown processes efficient, allowing the show to seamlessly transition between performances.
The Grand Finale: Taking Flight
As “Flight: Dare to Dream” reaches its grand finale, the Wright Brothers’ Plane takes center stage, defying gravity and soaring over the audience. The motorized propellers whir to life, and the performer controls the plane’s rotation, creating a breathtaking illusion of flight. It’s a moment that encapsulates the magic of live theater and leaves audiences in awe.
AMC Fabrication’s contribution to “Flight: Dare to Dream” for Royal Caribbean is a testament to the power of imagination and technical expertise. Their ability to craft a ride-on prop that blends realism, interactivity, and safety has elevated the show to new heights. The Wright Brothers’ Plane is not just a piece of theater; it’s a symbol of the boundless possibilities when creativity takes flight. Experience the magic of “Flight: Dare to Dream” and witness the Wright Brothers’ Plane in action on Royal Caribbean’s cruise ships.