Finding beauty in building planes


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The NY Times had an interesting article this past weekend on the building of an Airbus A321 at a former military base in Mobile, Alabama. It wasn’t so much the article itself, but rather the photographs that grabbed my attention, because the images showed a beautiful side of plane-building that I’ve never seen before.

Christopher Payne photographs of an Airbus A321
A fan blade set for an engine of the A321. Credit Christopher Payne for The New York Times

The photographer is Christopher Payne, who is represented by Bonni Benrubi Gallery in New York City. Payne specializes in architectural photography and the large format documentation of America’s industrial heritage. Trained as an architect, he is fascinated by design, assembly, and the built form. This isn’t the first time we’ve been smitten with Payne’s photographs – he also did a series of photographs of the Steinway piano factory in Astoria, Queens, which we wrote about a few months ago.

Here’s a few more pictures from the spread in the NY Times:

Christopher Payne photographs of the Airbus A321

Above left: Looking inside the rear section of the fuselage, toward the aft of the plane. Above right: Each of the wings weighs 4.5 tons. Here, they are attached to the fuselage with approximately 1,200 rivets per side. Both photographs are by Christopher Payne for The New York Times.

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