the future that wasn't

The Bel Geddes #4

"There is a small railroad so the engines can be changed in flight, and moved around at ease within the auxiliary wing. The nonfunctioning motor can be replaced with a reserve motor within five minutes and broken motor run over to the machine shop and to be repaired on the spot. Bel Geddes figured that while it required 20 engines to lift the ship off the water, only 12 were needed to fly at cruising speed."

(More retro-future planes.)


5 Responses:

  1. tkil says:

    Am I the only one who thought of the guild transports from David Lynch’s Dune when they saw this?

  2. elmofromok says:

    i read about this plane a week or so ago and was amazed that he thinks it could actually acheive flight. I want them to build it now just to see the monster fly.

    • jabberwokky says:

      The rather interesting thing is the comparison to the 747-400. It's not an order of magnitude larger. The 747 is much much faster and has less internal area, but the weight, wingspan, etc are fairly comparable (larger, but not decimal points, more like half again).

      I'd imagine that the speed and streamlining are somewhat related, but of course we now have nice jet engines rather than props.

      Honestly, I'd not mind going to Europe or even Asia (from N. America) on one of these things. It would take a couple days, but walking around and spending time in a theater and bar for a couple days is far better than sitting in a chair for a day. Much like the modern Boeing aircraft, it would be built to be more stable and structurally sound in the air rather than on the ground.


      • linda712 says:

        I think you might mind it if your cabin was on the outer wing. The motion of the wing would be significant out there.

        That aside, I too would gladly add time to what is already a long trip if I could add a measurable level of comfort and arrive not being a pretzel.