Sjoerd Knibbeler: Inspired by...

Inspired by... Lockheed XFV-1

In Inspired by... a talented young photographer highlights an image that has inspired them throughout their career. 

'XFV-1'  - U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation

The Lockheed XFV-1 was an experimental tail sitter prototype aircraft, built by Lockheed in the early 1950's. The aircraft was supposed to take-off and land from a vertical position so it would not need a runway to become airborne. Although the XFV-1 demonstrated the ability to transition from vertical to horizontal mode at high altitude after take-off, the aircraft never took off or landed vertically.

Alongside sixteen others, this failed aircraft has been the inspiration for my Paper Planes series. I based my photographs on historical aircraft designs that never made it past the drawing board. Except for the XFV-1, none of those aircraft ever flew. Some of the designs are over eighty years old and it struck me that they still fly around the world as ideas – in the virtual form of data. Technical drawings, photographs of prototypes or mock-ups, descriptions and so-called 'artist impressions' are shared and discussed online by aviation enthusiasts.

Based on this information, I was able to create paper models of the aircraft. These small objects allow me to better comprehend a large idea and I've found that they can also single out and convey some emotional qualities of an idea; a feature they share with photographs. On the one hand these aircraft, which were conceived but never realized, represent failure. Due to technical mistakes, lack of funding or by simply being out dated, their development was terminated. On the other, the ideas represent visions of a future and have become part of a collective imagination.

About Sjoerd Knibbeler

Sjoerd Knibbeler (1981) is a photographer. He has recently won the Grand Prix du jury Photographie at the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography 2015 (30th edition). Knibbeler studied at The Royal Academy of Fine Art, The Hague. He will have his first museum presentation in Foam 3h from 26 June till August 23, his new publication Paper Planes (:Fw) will be launched with the exhibition. He is represented by Gallery LhGWR, The Hague.

Other inspired by

Golden skies, decrepit rooms

Golden skies, decrepit rooms

Inspired by, posted on 26 January 2017
Playing with space and meaning

Playing with space and meaning

Inspired by, posted on 12 January 2017
Black magic mirrors

Black magic mirrors

Inspired by, posted on 6 January 2017
Somewhere between confidence and apprehension

Somewhere between confidence and apprehension

Inspired by, posted on 28 December 2016