Bond Flies with Vertigo at London Science Museum

London's Science Museum today unveiled its new Bond, James Bond exhibition, exploring the science and art of the Bond films with a collection of original 007 objects‚ images‚ concept drawings‚ storyboards, and costume designs. The exhibition runs until April 27, 2003.

Vertigo Rigging lifted and flew several Bond vehicles into position on a second-floor balcony. These cars include Goldfinger's Rolls Royce (at 2.9 tons, the heaviest object ever lifted in the Science Museum), the Aston Martin Vanquish from the new Bond movie Die Another Day, and the Aston Martin DB5, the classic Bond car that has appeared in Goldfinger, Thunderball and Goldeneye. Vertigo also rigged a 7m-long (23') ice dragster and a hovercraft from Die Another Day, a speedboat from The World is Not Enough, a Parahawk vehicle on skis with a massive fan at the rear, and two 6m (20') special effects model aircraft.

The operation began overnight on Saturday when Vertigo pre-rigged the lifting system and support trusses. The real load-in started at 6pm on Sunday, when the Museum was closed to the public. Crowds gathered with cameras outside the museum as the first cars were unloaded from the transporters. Moving the vehicles up through the atrium and into position took approximately 45 minutes each, and all were ready by 2am. The vehicles had to be ready and all access equipment cleared away, ready for the general museum areas to be open to the public at 9am Monday morning. Vertigo fabricated the special I-beam trolleys that run beneath the trusses, each one suspended by four one-ton motors. Underneath these are smaller truss assemblies used for attaching to and picking up the vehicles. For this project, Vertigo also designed a new car-lifting frame that clamps around the wheels.

The Vertigo team was led by Tim Roberts. In addition to his four riggers, he employed three people from the Stratton Motor Company in Norfolk, which prepares and looks after all the Bond cars. Roberts said the biggest challenge was the preparation, and the hours of calculations that went into ensuring the move went smoothly. He worked with the Science Museum's structural engineer Nat Barnett to establish where the load could be spread without over-stressing the building. When hauling the cars up the atrium, they also had to avoid steel wire ropes holding up various existing exhibits, plus canopies and other obstructions.

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