Helicaster (flying guitar)
Michael Gaughan
2005
RC helicopter, electric guitar parts
4.5' x 2' x 1.5'
I was outside drawing different guitar ideas and I saw a helicopter fly over, and at that moment I knew I needed to have a flying guitar. One that could fly over the crowd and land on stage and I could play it, when I was done with the song it could fly out of my arms and have a lot of feedback and the sound of the blades spinning. It was my best guitar idea since the candy guitars, so I worked really hard to make this guitar a reality. I won the 2004 Jerome grant for emerging artists and was now able to afford to create this guitar and other works of art. I met with the Minnesota Remote Control Helicopter Association at a library in Fridley, I told them my idea and that I needed their help and they laughed at me. I found out that the blades spin at over 500 miles per hour. There is such thing as RC aircraft insurance, and it prohibits any indoor flying, and requires that you fly at least 25 feet away from crowds. I called several RC helicopter manufacturers and found out the most an RC Helicopter could safely lift 5 lbs. I ordered a gas powered 50 scale RC helicopter off of ebay and gathered the lightest guitar parts I could find. Friend and artist, Steve Davy was working at Franconia Sculpture Park that summer so I went out there a few times and he helped me cut the aluminum "body" and aluminum counterweight, so it would be an even 2.5 Lbs on each side. We built the helicaster flying guitar and I am currently looking for a pilot to collaborate with so we can play some outdoor festivals this summer and unleash the true meaning of Air Guitar!!!