Drawing in gigantic hangars on top of helicopters
Drawing on top of a helicopter or on the runaway of Aberdeen Heliport has been one of the most exciting environments I have been exposed to.
Initially this environment overwhelmed me, dressed in my hi-vis safety vest and hard hat and walking into one of the gigantic hangars filled with variously stripped helicopter bodies, rotor heads, gearboxes, engines and rotor blades, I did not know where to start first. I spent many weeks in the company of the engineers, mechanics and electricians, joining in with coffee and lunch, whilst discussing the key phases of their job carried out on Super Puma and Sikorsky helicopter crafts.The rotor head that joins the blades to the shaft was referred to by the workers with the Scottish word ‘beanie’, as it resembles a little red hat. I liked that, so I captured the work ‘mounting the beanie’ in action, and developed an etching and oil painting from the sketch.
I went on to sketch all aspects of the helicopter services industry, from flying, maintenance, repair and overhaul, to the passengers and pilots travelling to and from the ships and platforms that make up their offshore workplaces. Access to the heliport was granted by the largest helicopter services company in the world, Canadian Holding Company (CHC). See press release.
See below drawings of the East Hangar on a rotorblade and a drawing made on the run-way of Aberdeen heliport.