Drones: Is The Sky The Limit? United States’ First Major Museum Exhibition On Pilotless Aircraft Set To Open At The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum On May 10, 2017
New York, NY (January 5, 2017) – On May 10, 2017, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum will unveil Drones: Is the Sky the Limit?, the first major museum exhibition on pilotless aircraft to open in the United States. The large-scale exhibition, which will be located in a 6,000-square-foot custom-designed pavilion on the Museum’s Pier 86, will reveal the history of drone technology, from its modern-day origins in World War I and its military development to its current applications in solving complex humanitarian challenges.
Drones: Is the Sky the Limit? will showcase historical artifacts, model airplanes, actual drones, three-dimensional computer renderings, rare videos and immersive installations that will take visitors on a visually engrossing journey from the earliest attempts to employ unmanned flying machines to the advanced systems of the 21st century and beyond.
The exhibition will include a rich blend of small and large-scale drones. Visitors will see a prototype cargo vehicle designed to deliver online shopping orders to their door, as well as Volantis, the world’s first flying dress, designed and worn by global superstar Lady Gaga. Human-carrying vehicles will be represented by a full-scale conceptual aircraft that may become the personal autonomous transportation system of the future.
The exhibition will also feature archival and contemporary photographs, technical drawings that show a glimpse of the future of drone technology, and an “immersion” theater where visitors will experience dramatic images captured by the unique cinematographic perspective of the drone.
“We are proud to be the first institution in the United States to provide a large-scale look at the exciting world of drone technology,” said Susan Marenoff-Zausner, president of the Intrepid Museum. “This stunning exhibition will allow visitors of all ages to explore the history of unmanned aircraft, marvel at the cutting-edge designs of today, and be inspired by the future of this ever-evolving technology.”
The Museum will offer related programs for students, educators and the general public that explore this growing technology and its ethical implications. Programs will incorporate lively dialogue, demonstrations of drones in flight, installations and social gaming.
Drones: Is the Sky the Limit? is co-curated by Eric Boehm, the Museum’s curator of aviation and aircraft restoration, along with Mary L. “Missy” Cummings and Alexander J. Stimpson, both specialists at Duke University. Cummings was one of the Navy’s first female fighter pilots and served as a naval officer and military pilot from 1988 to 1999. She is now the director of Duke Robotics and Duke’s Humans and Autonomy Lab and is a professor in the Duke Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, the Duke Institute of Brain Sciences, and the Duke Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Stimpson is a research scientist in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University. He specializes in the application of machine learning models to complex data sets involving human-machine interaction. His current research interests include human supervisory control, decision support systems, artificial intelligence and data mining.
Exhibition collaborators include Arthur Holland Michel and Dan Gettinger, co-directors of the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College. They lead an interdisciplinary research institution that conducts original research on the novel and complex opportunities and challenges presented by unmanned technologies in the military and civilian spheres.
Support for Drones: Is the Sky the Limit? and related programs is generously provided by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Foundation. Additional support for education programs has been generously provided by the Rose M. Badgeley Residuary Charitable Trust, The Ambrose Monell Foundation and the May and Samuel Rudin Foundation. Education programs at the Intrepid Museum are supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Drones: Is the Sky the Limit? is free with the price of admission to the Museum. For more information, please visit intrepidmuseum.org/drones.