I recently connected to an aviation artist, Mike Challgren who is making incredible sculptures. A captain of a different kind, who builds planes instead of flying them. Mike started out in Burbank as an airport policeman, then became a captain, and quickly developed a love for aviation.
"I was captured by the aircraft, the stories, the pilots, the history, the industry. I met a lot of aviation people and loved every minute of my airport day. I listened to stories from pilots, even test pilots. I had a morning conversation with stunt pilot Frank Tallman – “Flying the Old Planes”, an aviation great."
"I met Tony LaVier, Lockheed P38 test pilot. Later, I moved to the Airport Maintenance Division. My love for aviation grew as I studied the FAR’s and Advisory Circulars and managed to make the airport a safer place. I was present as the SR 71 made 3 low passes over R/W 15 at BUR, the last pass with the after-burners lit. Awesome! My story continued as I travelled to several airports doing construction work for the airlines and became a frequent flyer."
"Early on, I transferred one of my unique talents to the aviation world. I have the ability to make anything you can think of out of welding rod. I made my first aircraft, a Falcon 20, and then my second, a DC-3, then a B 727 – which I sold, to a PSA Captain. He loved it and had me make several more for his friends. That’s how I started."
"The quality of my work has grown with the quality of the real aircraft. Grumman Gulfstream aircraft are my specialty. I have done ‘fleets’ of G550’s, and lately G650’s. You can see an unfinished G650 on my profile page."
Please take a moment to check out Mike's website at WireSculptor to see more samples of his work. He tells me he is able to produce an accurate rendition of any aircraft.
Which one do you want?
"My sculptures are very attractive and valued by people who have received them. I fix the wire model to a welding rod base so it sits securely on a desk or a shelf. I can also personalize each sculpture with special requests ie; N#, make and type of aircraft, a person’s name, flying status, business card holder etc."
His work looks pretty awesome. I know I will be connecting to get a plane of my own. Now I just need to decide which one. Which plane do you want?
Enjoy the Journey!