Airbus asked to help with £6m dragon wings tests

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

PLANEMAKERS at Airbus have been asked to carry out stability tests for the enormous wings of the Welsh dragon sculpture which could become a regional landmark next year.

Erbistock art dealer Simon Wingett aims to build a 40-metre tower on land just off the A483 near Chirk as a monument to Welsh culture.

It would also be a way of raising money for the cancer charity set up by his late father, Frank.

Paid for by public subscription to the tune of about £6 million, It will be topped by a 25-metre tall dragon made from a mixture of bronze and steel, which will have a wingspan of 160ft.

Although the wings of the full-sized beast are too large to be tested, Mr Wingett wants to carry out wind-tunnel testing on a 20th scale model created by the same sculptor.

He said: “We have already tested a 1ft tall model of the dragon in a computer simulation.

“We are now aiming to test the larger model and I have asked Airbus at Broughton if they can do it.

“I certainly hope they will be able to help because they are a large local and international company and I can’t think of anyone better to do it.

“I am just waiting to hear back from them but if they can’t help we have another company in mind in Hertfordshire.”

He added: “It’s a question of ensuring that the wings strike the right balance of upward and downward pressure and in effect stay in the same place in a high wind.”

Yesterday lunchtime, Mr Wingett and his team showed off the model dragon – itself standing 4ft tall and with a wingspan of 8ft – on the green next to Wrexham’s Guildhall.

Later in the day they submitted a formal application for the dragon project to the council’s planning department.

This will now be subject to a one-month consultation period before being considered by the planning committee, possibly in November.

Mr Wingett said: “We want as many people as possible to get in touch with the planning department to say they support the dragon.

“When we had the model out in Wrexham it attracted quite a lot of interest from the public and some people were asking where they could make donations to our appeal in which we are asking everyone in Wales to contribute £1 each.

“Today we will have the model on show at the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, where thousands of people from around the world will see it.”

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