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A  New
    Interactive  Experience
                                  for All !!

Since our return from the Playa last year, we decided to get a jump on things, literally the week we got back.  In addition to adding a propeller on the front, as well as 2 on the tail, extending the height of the rotors with a secondary blade system above the top rotors, adding a flame thrower from the tail, fabricating new clouds from high density foam blocks, and so much more, one of the most interactive additions since the SteamChopper's conception will be our new, interactive dashboard, which will not only include all sorts of antique instruments and vintage gauges necessary for flight, but will feature a very special new creation, an absolutely one-of-a-kind, custom engineered cold cathode display, aka nixie tube device that will display exactly where we are, in real-time, like modern GPS with a vintage twist, accurate literally to the 'minute' of the unique street structure of Black Rock City with my original algorithms and custom manufactured circuitry. (This will bring our ancient helicopter this year with an antique, yet kind of tech/robotic/modern twist that will fit right in with this year's theme.)  Riders will be able to turn different steampunk dials to select where we are going, and better yet, we can turn back the clock to past Burning Man years and actually see the street name we are on with the name of the same street From Past Years. Other interesting data can also be accessed, such as past years' theme names, population, man height, etc, and all of this will be controlled from antique potentiometer dials and other scientific instruments used to control the devices, which will display the info via numbers and letters inside some of the rarest nixie tubes on the planet, which have been sourced from across continents.  Meanwhile, another, connected nixie device will continuously be counting down the days, minutes and seconds to the actual burn, while swapping to other info such as temp and humidity.  All of this will be intertwined with custom mini steam engines and boilers, and an interconnected system of gears turning throughout the devices, and many other antique instruments such as sundials, navigational sextants, compasses, and telescopes, all accessible for anyone and everyone to try out, learn about and play around with.

The SteamChopper was designed from conception to be open, inviting and easy for anyone to get on and off. We pride ourselves in giving so many burners their first ride in an art car / mutant vehicle, and these new additions are all part of our continuing efforts expand upon the existing interactivity and to share our art and good vibes with as many people as possible...


Below are a few pictures of just Some of the many antique and vintage pieces we have been collecting to be included. Most of this stuff is from the late 1800's and has been very difficult to acquire, but so worth it !


Below are some of the actual Steam Engines and Boilers we are incorporating into the design. These are functional pieces, which will fire up, produce steam, which will turn the engines, which will in turn rotate a series of gears that will turn throughout all of the dashboard devices.

Custom Built Antique

Steam Boiler / Housing

from United Kingdom

Custom Molded Brass

Steam Engine

from Poland

Antique Weeden 

Steam Engine/Boiler


Below are some of the Controls we are using to operate the various devices.

Antique Weston Galvonmeter

From 1888

This device is used to push pins into the desired numbers for the "Time" of the street we wish to navigate to. In this picture, we would be going to  8:45

Antique Potentiometer

This device is used to turn the Top Dial, which has 26 selections, to choose the desired letter for programming in Camps, Landmarks or Destinations

Antique Ohmmeter

This device is used to connect individual Nixie tubes to each pin

Antique Potentiometer

This device is used to rotate dials to select "Curved Street" names, as well as turning back the clock to view streets and Playa info from

Past Years.


Below are some of the prototype design elements we are incorporating into the bigger picture of how this will all work together, though our final devices will be much larger and more complex, and interactive.


Below are some of the navigational devices that will be included, which will be able to be used by anyone and everyone!  And some extraordinary gauges, some dating from the 1800s.


Below are the blades we will use to further our flight capabilities...

36 inch Fan Blade on the Right:  will rotate slowly on the front of the nose cone.

26 inch Propeller Blades on the Right,  with

Custom grinded

Blades on the Left:

provide awesome light refraction and will be

inset behind propeller blades and will rotate inside and on the the outside of the Tail.


We still have our original, functioning Ruben's tube on the tail, and this year we will be adding a large flame thrower facing upwards from the back of the tail.  The picture below is of the actual flame thrower components we have and plan to use, but it is not yet connected to the chopper.


Below is the new Trailer to house and transport the Steam Chopper,

and the upper-back extension modification being worked on to the Bus.

The bus will be a U.S. Road Max 45 feet long, 13 ' 6 '' high

The stacker trailer body is 30 feet long, 13 ' 6 '' high

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