VGTU’s Festive season’s surprise – a flying Christmas tree
While Lithuanian cities are competing whose Christmas tree is the nicest, the creation of Antanas Gustaitis Aviation Institute’s at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU) community is definitely the most unique. As befits true aviators, a Christmas tree made by the institute’s faculty and students can fly.
A 1.2-meter Christmas tree is made from polyurethane foam. Engine of the tree is on the top and at the bottom – four steering wheels. This radio-controlled unconventional evergreen can fly in various directions or just hang in the air. The Christmas tree lights can be switched on remotely.
“We have agreed with students to dedicate Fridays for unconventional creative tasks. On one of those Fridays, we were brainstorming what would be a nice surprise to the university’s community for Christmas. We decided that it would be interesting to create a different Christmas tree. We all are from A. Gustaitis aviation institute; thus, is was natural, that our Christmas tree must fly,” explains Aleksandr Lapušinskij, Head of the Laboratory of Aeronautics. According to him, it took three days to put this idea into reality.
Creators of the flying Christmas tree are convinced that such a unique surprise will please not only VGTU’s community, but also the Santa Claus. “We are certain, that Santa Claus has deep expertise in technologies. Each year he chooses and brings to children enormous number of smart phones, tablets, video games, and other technological gifts. What kind of present one could put under a flying Christmas tree? Of course, a flying one!” says jokingly representative of the university, hoping that a flying Christmas tree will raise interest in aviation among the youth and children.
The flying Christmas tree isn’t the only symbol of the festive season interpreted in a modern way by the university’s community. Last year, VGTU and its partners have attracted international attention by creating the world’s smallest nativity scene. The scene was an exact replica of the nativity scene at the Cathedral square in Vilnius. It has been reduced 10 000 times and it could be placed on a single human eyelash. The nano-nativity scene was presented to Pope Francis as a gift on behalf of the Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė. Also it has been submitted for review to a panel of judges from the Guinness World Records. Organisational partners of the project: Vilnius Archdiocese, “Go Vilnius”, public body “Invest Lithuania”, the patron of the idea – the Presidency of the Republic of Lithuania.
Watch the video of the flying Christmas tree: