If you know aviation, you know Clay Lacy. And if you don’t know aviation, it won’t take you long to realize why that first statement is true.
For one, Clay set a new around-the-world speed record in 1988 with his 36-hour, 54-minute, 15-second flight in a Boeing United 747. (A guest of honor on the flight? U.S. astronaut, Apollo 11 commander, and friend to Clay, Neil Armstrong.) And that’s just one of Clay’s *thirty-three* aeronautical records. Clay also flew a whopping 41½ years for United Airlines — totally incident-free — and retired in 1992 at Number One seniority. Oh — and at the same time, he was running Clay Lacy Aviation, the private charter company he founded in 1968 and that’s still flying strong today. That’s just a start, if you can believe it. “The most interesting man in the world” is not who that beer commercial would have you think.
Lucky for us, this legend was our own introduction to the high-flying world of business aviation. Clay Lacy Aviation asked us to co-pilot their vision for a booth-of-a-different-kind at the NBAA Business Aviation Conference and bring the story of Clay and his company to life. The idea: to create a huge, 8-foot by 16-foot mural to illustrate and celebrate both the roots and the wings of Clay Lacy Aviation. Their history, their offerings, their mission and vision, and their always-climbing-higher spirit. And to do so, LIVE, over the course of the 2½-day conference.
Big wall, big story, big challenge, big YES.
Of course, the crew at Clay Lacy Aviation made this journey one to remember. As collaborators, we worked together to set up a structure and narrative that would provide the bones on which to build a mural with impact. Then once in Orlando for the conference — we let it fly.
Like any great trip, we’ve got pictures. Please enjoy. And if you’re ever in Van Nuys, California, stop by Clay Lacy Aviation HQ and see the mural for yourself — it’s been reproduced, full-size, to stand as a visual testament to the man, the company, and the legend. We’re also thrilled to share we’re making a return trip to NBAA-BACE with Clay Lacy Aviation this October in Las Vegas. We’ll be there with an even more interactive twist to “the wall”, and would love to see you there. Until then — wishing you only smooth landings.