Alaska Airlnes

Can you build a better airplane? The Future of Flight wants your design

Here’s a great lemons to lemonade story.

8 year old Harry Winsor really loves to draw airplanes. So his dad, a savvy advertising executive – with a blog – sent one of Harry’s pictures to the folks at Boeing.  But rather than send Harry a thank-you note, the giant company sent Harry a form letter letting him know that – like every other idea or suggestion that comes in over the transom – they were legally required to shred the  drawing; not even look at it – lest young Harry someday accuse the company of stealing his ideas.

That didn’t sit right with his dad, who wrote about the incident on his blog and, – as this Advertising Age article explains, here’s where the lemonade started getting made.  Someone at Boeing with a new Twitter account got wind of the snafu  and:

In no time, the brand reached out and took responsibility for its mistake. It called young Harry and invited him to visit Boeing’s facilities. On its corporate Twitter site, it wrote things such as, “This is on-the-job social-media training for us” and “We’re expert at airplanes but novices in social media. We’re learning as we go.”

Other companies and organizations jumped in as well.  Alaska Airlines sent Harry a model airplane. And now the Future of Flight Aviation Center – which is co-located with the Boeing Tour in Mukilteo, Wa. – has created a design your own aircraft show in Harry’s honor.

Kids – of all ages – are invited to submit their airplane designs to The Harry Winsor Design Your Own Aircraft Show by June 7th, 2010.  Designs will then be on display at the Future of Flight from June 15, 2010  through July 30, 2010.

Everyone who enters will not only have their artwork put on display; they’ll receive a special badge for their efforts.

Here’s what I’m sending in.

It’s a drawing of the 787 Dreamliner I smuggled out of the factory during a tour organized by Alaska Airlines a few months back.

Got something better?  Then read the guidelines and send your drawing in to the Future of Flight’s Harry Winsor Design Your Own Aircraft Show.