20 million travellers will see this sculpture at Heathrow Airport each year

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A stunning new sculpture weighing 77 tonnes and measuring 78 metres will be the first (and last) impression of the UK for passengers travelling through the new Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport this summer.

Slipstream by Richard Wilson is a massive piece of art that captures the essence of air travel – velocity, acceleration and deceleration.

Slipstream by Richard Wilson at Terminal 2 Heathrow Airport
Artist’s sketch of Slipstream © Richard Wilson RA

The twisted aluminium structure takes the imagined flight path of a small stunt plane. It is suspended 18 metres above the ground, carving a flight path through Terminal 2’s entrance court. Four structural columns support it.

Slipstream by Richard Wilson at Terminal 2, London Heathrow
Slipstream by Richard Wilson at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 | The Queen’s Terminal. Photograher David Levene. © LHR Airports Limited
Slipstream by Richard Wilson at Terminal 2, London Heathrow
Slipstream by Richard Wilson at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 | The Queen’s Terminal. Photograher David Levene. © LHR Airports Limited
Slipstream by Richard Wilson at Terminal 2, London Heathrow
Slipstream by Richard Wilson at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 | The Queen’s Terminal. Photograher David Levene. © LHR Airports Limited

The Queen will officially open the new Terminal 2 on June 23. The old Terminal 2, opened by The Queen in 1955, was demolished after 54 years of service. It was Heathrow’s first terminal, originally called the “Europa Building” and was designed to deal with 1.2 million passengers a year. By the time it closed in 2009 it was handling 8 million passengers a year.

Terminal 2 will be a new international gateway for the UK, hosting 23 Star Alliance airlines as well as Virgin Atlantic Little Red, Germanwings and Aer Lingus.

Slipstream took more than two years to create. The sculpture was manufactured in Hull in 23 giant sections where it formed part of the successful bid for Hull City of Culture 2017. It was then transported, piece by piece, to Heathrow in June 2013.

Slipstream by Richard Wilson at Terminal 2, London Heathrow
Slipstream by Richard Wilson at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 | The Queen’s Terminal. Photograher David Levene. © LHR Airports Limited
Slipstream by Richard Wilson at Terminal 2, London Heathrow
Slipstream by Richard Wilson at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 | The Queen’s Terminal. Photograher David Levene. © LHR Airports Limited
Slipstream by Richard Wilson at Terminal 2, London Heathrow
Slipstream by Richard Wilson at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 | The Queen’s Terminal. Photograher David Levene. © LHR Airports Limited
Slipstream by Richard Wilson at Terminal 2, London Heathrow
Slipstream by Richard Wilson at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 | The Queen’s Terminal. Photograher David Levene. © LHR Airports Limited
Slipstream by Richard Wilson at Terminal 2, London Heathrow
Slipstream by Richard Wilson at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 | The Queen’s Terminal. Photograher David Levene. © LHR Airports Limited

(Featured image: Slipstream by Richard Wilson at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 | The Queen’s Terminal. Photograher David Levene. © LHR Airports Limited)

20 million travellers will see this sculpture at Heathrow Airport each year was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Oonagh Shiel
Author: Oonagh Shiel (3252 posts)

Content Manager at Cheapflights whose travel life can be best summed up as BC (before children) and PC (post children). We only travel during the school holidays so short-haul trips and staycations are our specialities!