In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Inner Light" Captain Jean-Luc Picard lives twenty some years of another man's life in the space of twenty minutes. The alien probe that gave him those memories deactivates and upon opening it the crew finds a simple flute, the one that long dead man had once owned. Captain Picard would cherish it for the rest of his life as the only link to that forgotten past.
That episode is a fan favorite and the flute would appear in a number of subsequent episodes. When TNG ended and many of the props auctioned off the on screen flute was one of the most desired. The original prop didn't play, in fact it was almost solid aluminum. Patrick Stewart did learn to play the penny whistle for the episode, but was faking the motions while listening to a prerecord of another man playing the piece.
"The Inner Light" is my father's favorite episode of TNG, his favorite TV show. So for Christmas this year I decided to make him a replica of the flute, with one twist: this one plays. It isn't a perfect replica, but it captures the look and feel nicely while still managing to be a functional penny whistle.
Step 1: Last Chance to Back Out
There is another option, however. You can simply buy a penny whistle and make a few changes. Repaint the body copper/gold to get the brass look, glue an aluminum tube over the neck, and attach some washers over the holes. Add the tassel and you're done!
I claim no credit for this design, you can thank the replica prop forums:
If you're sticking with me then we'll get on with it.