Air Force One (Darkfield)

Air Force One

This beautiful miniature rendition of the original Wright brothers biplane was discovered on a early 1980s era NCR Microelectronics memory integrated circuit, loaned to us by Greg O'Hara of Marietta, Georgia. This was the first "airplane" to actually fly on its own power with a human pilot. The wingspan of this silicon biplane is 200 micrometers, about 1/60,000 the size of the original (40 feet) plane that was powered by a four-cylinder, 12-horsepower gasoline engine. Orville and Wilbur built the plane in their bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio (also home of the NCR fab that produced the chip) and shipped it to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina for testing. On December 17, 1903, Orville Wright made the first flight, which lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet. Things haven't been the same since.

View this silicon artwork under differential interference contrast (DIC) and brightfield illumination.

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