VIDEO: J&C Joel take centre stage at billion-dollar plane unveiling

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Sowerby Bridge firm J&C Joel’s drapes were used at the unveiling ceremony of a new billion-dollar Russian airliner.

The much-anticipated MC-21 aircraft, touted to become a direct rival of the Boeing-737 and Airbus 320, reportedly cost 100 billion rubles (approximately US$3.5 billion) to build and was been rolled out for its official presentation in Irkutsk, Russia in front of an audience of around 1,000 people, including Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

J&C Joel were approached about the project by the Ceremonies Staging Agency (CSA) after they saw the firm’s fabric and drape retraction units used in Berlin-based show the WYLD.

Oliver Marns, UK, EU and Russia sales manager, said: “After speaking to Kirill from the CSA and getting an understanding of the effect he wanted we realised that our drape retraction unit teamed with our drapes and Kabuki drop system would be the best fit for the project.

“The Kabuki provides the safe and reliable drop of the drape and the retraction unit can quite literally withdraw a drape out of sight in seconds to create a stunning effect.

“We were delighted to be involved with a project of this importance. It was a brilliant opportunity to showcase our products and installation prowess on an

international stage.”

J&C Joel’s creative manufacturing team, led by Andrew Hastwell, installed the unit, Kabuki’s and the silver trevira silk drape, measuring 30 metres by 15 metres, which also doubled up as a projection surface for holographic images and video content before the big reveal.

The drape retraction unit was combined with 50 Kabuki drop units to create the effect of the plane appearing in front of the audiences’ eyes.

The system underwent three days of testing in the UK to ensure it would run smoothly once set up in Russia.

J&C Joel now exports to more than 80 countries worldwide, providing products such as front of house theatre curtains, stage backdrops, cycloramas, gauzes, acoustic drapes, projection screens and an array of stage engineering solutions.