Sci-Fi Air Show Celebrates the History of Fantasy Spacecraft in CG

By Norman Chan

If this were a real event, I'd buy tickets in a heartbeat.

This is a neat discovery. Bill George, a visual effects supervisor at Industrial Light and Magic, has for the past few years been running the website for a fictional sci-fi airshow. The point of the Sci-Fi Air Show is to celebrate the history and design of spacecraft from classic science fiction shows and movies, chronicling how each design was originally created, where it was used in film, and the eventual resting place for the scale models. But George goes a bit further and brings these ships back to life in an imagined airshow, complete with Photoshopped photos of the ships on public fairgrounds surrounded by curious onlookers. It's a little precious, but George's love for these ship designs and models is undeniable, and his CG renders are top notch--my favorite is this depiction of the Orion Space Plane.

Image Credit: Bill George

Unfortunately, a real-life airshow for science-fiction models is a pipe dream, since models and props are often destroyed or auctioned away for private collectors after production on a show or movie ends. The 1:1 scale models--like a Viper cockpit in Battlestar Galactica--are the first to go, since they take up expensive storage space for studios. The replica sets of the USS Enterprise 1701-D created for Star Trek: The Experience, for example, still remain in storage in Las Vegas after the closing of the exhibition and show in 2008.