Shadowy ‘Chief Designer’ Unveils TSM’s New Stealth Fighter Sim
TSM’s ‘Chief Designer’ stands back and in the shadows between TSM Spokesperson, Nichelle Nichols and TSM Founder, Ivor Dawson.
When TSM VP, Dr., Maureen Clemmons suggested that Traveling Space Museum should have something cool like the 1/10 scale SR-71 Blackbird she saw flying via remote control on the Internet, it triggered a desire to build something new that would be as dramatic but much more practical for TSM’s usage.
TSM did need another flight simulator –one that that demonstrated jet flying and it seemed appropriate to stay with something in the Lockheed-Martin family of aircraft and produce a large scale replica of a modern jet. TSM received a grant from LMCO so that we could do a project like this so it all made perfect sense. From TSM’s inception, Lockheed-Martin had been a most steadfast supporter and it would be nice to do something to honor their commitment. The stars all began to align from the very beginning. TSM had already received seed money from the Wolf Aviation Foundation in New Mexico, to build a flight simulator and we would then receive a generous donation of steel and aluminum from our friends at Industrial Metal Supply Co. in Sun Valley CA. Everything seemed to come together like clockwork-- which is always helpful when starting in on a big new project like this one.
Eggett, in blue, and crew (Photo courtesy of Court Wizard Productions)
TSM wanted something that would that look and behave like a real jet and as well something that would be attractive to both kids and adults–something that would really ‘pop!’
It needed to be big and detailed enough to blow minds but also small enough to fit inside our semi trailer. It needed to have folding wings and maybe a canopy that opened automatically. At ¼ scale, our F-117 would stretch out to be18 feet and have a wingspan of almost 16 feet. We also needed to figure out how to get someone bigger than a ¼ size person inside it! If everything were exactly to scale, then only someone about 18 inches high would fit in the cockpit! We also wanted to be able to demonstrate the capabilities of the Nighthawk even if no one was inside so it also had to run by remote control.
These were some of the challenges that faced TSM’s ‘Chief Designer,’ John Eggett. A veteran Hollywood prop maker and pyro-technician having worked on countless films like Underworld and Zombieland and TV shows like Top Shot and 1000 Ways to Die, John is best known to school children as the builder of TSM’s Space Shuttle Waste Containment System –otherwise known as “TSM’s space toilet!” Many have said that TSM’s Space Shuttle Waste Containment System is the only toilet that doubles as a thrill ride!
Although John ordinarily prefers to stay out of the limelight, this year he will be touring with Traveling Space Museum specifically to demonstrate to the world his showiest TSM’s attraction to date.
With the ability to pitch and roll like a real jet aircraft, TSM’s F-117 will become the centerpiece of a new TSM Teacher Development Workshop Program. Created for primary and secondary school teachers, Workshop participants will experience first-hand the thrill of aviation and space technology advancements by donning virtual reality goggles and powering up the full-motion flight simulator. Participants will also be able to quiz astronauts who will make themselves available specifically for this program.
TSM’s F-117 make its’ first public appearance at the Syncro Aviation Hangar at Van Nuys Airport Career Day in Los Angeles CA. 5/7/2011