Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Saturday, Jul 24, 2004

About Us
Contact Us
International
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |

International Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

The folding, flying guitar



Fredrik Johansson with his guitar that folds up into half the size of a normal instrument, in his hometown of Luleaa, northern Sweden. — AP

STOCKHOLM, JULY 23. Swedish airline pilot Fredrik Johansson has two passions in life: flying and making music with his guitar. But in the cramped confines of a commercial aircraft, there is scant space for a full-sized six-string, so he devised his own model that makes for easier travelling.

The 41-year-old Scandinavian Airlines pilot spent thousands of kronor and countless hours to design a guitar that folds up into half the size of a normal instrument, leaving plenty of space in the cockpit for not only his own flight bag, but his co-pilot's too.

``I wanted to have something else to do besides zapping between the TV channels,'' Mr. Johansson said, referring to the many nights he has spent in hotel rooms between flights.

A simple concept

The concept is simple, he said. The guitar's neck is attached to a solid electric guitar body similar in size and style to the Fender Telecaster variety of guitars. With the push of a lever, the neck folds back onto the body and the strings are pulled back on a roller, much like a window shade that rolls up exposing a window. When folded, the mahogany guitar is just 50 cm long, easily storable in an overhead compartment or the private locker available to the cockpit crew.

Mr. Johansson has applied for patents. He said that the strings do not need to be tuned after the guitar is folded. ``What's so unique about it is the rolling-up mechanism for the strings,'' he said. ``And the strings are always tuned. The only thing you have to do when you've unfolded it is to tighten them, which takes about 20 seconds. Then it's ready to play.''

He has spent the equivalent of about Rs. 9.1 lakhs on the guitar, building three of them in the process.

Rich timbre

The sound is sharp and when he plays his preferred blues songs, the guitar has a rich timbre to it, even more so when he strums a Willie Nelson tune.

Even though there are only three models, Mr. Johansson said he is considering taking it to music trade fairs in the U.S. to see if there is interest in making a commercial model. He said a Swedish covers band, ``Sonny Liston,'' used one of the guitars in June during a food festival in Stockholm, during their gig. ``They were amazed by it,'' he said. ``And it sounded great.''

AP

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

International

News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |


News Update


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |

Copyright 2004, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu