Perils Faced in Around-World Flight (May, 1924)

Perils Faced in Around-World Flight

Army Fliers to Cross Twenty-Two Countries in Journey that Will Cover Thirty-Nine Thousand Miles

UNDER the imaginative pen of Jules Verne, Phineas Fogg went entirely around the world in eighty days, using boats, trains, elephants and even a sail-equipped sled. On the home stretch he burned’ the furnishings of his ship for fuel. But these difficulties pale into insignificance when compared with the hazards of the feat proposed by the United States army—a round-the-world flight by a fleet of airplanes, American designed and built throughout. “The United States,” said Maj. Gen. Mason E. Patrick, chief of the air service, “has the distinction of holding every air record of value, including speed, altitude, endurance and distance, and now has conceived a project rivaling in importance the circumnavigation of the globe by Magellan.

“Balloon Cops” May Clear Traffic Jams (Jun, 1932)

“Balloon Cops” May Clear Traffic Jams

THE traffic tangles caused by major football games has become a problem of great importance to those cities that have the larger stadiums within their bounds. For hours before and after the games the police are compelled to work at top speed to restore the normal movement of traffic, being called upon at times to handle some fifty thousand additional cars.

At the various traffic conventions held about the country this problem has received much attention but it was only recently that a plausible solution to the matter was offered.

Auto Strapped To Plane Is Tested One Mile Above Earth (May, 1935)

What exactly were they testing? Did they think the car would evaporate at high altitude?

Auto Strapped To Plane Is Tested One Mile Above Earth

A SPECTACULAR “first time in history” —an automobile actually taken for a mile high joy ride—recently astonished onlookers at Floyd Bennet Field, New York.

The plane was a giant Uppercu-Burnelli transport. With a 12-foot wide cabin, there was more than enough room between the wheels of the landing gear to strap on a standard 1935 automobile.

Revolving Paddles Lift Odd-Style Plane (Jul, 1933)

Revolving Paddles Lift Odd-Style Plane

Built entirely without propellers as such, but deriving lift from revolving wings which spin in windmill fashion, a unique auto-airplane invented by Paul Lewis, of Denver, Col., gives promise of portending a new trend of development. Principles of its construction are explained in these photographs and drawings. One of the photos shows the lifting wings being tested in the workshop, where they developed a vertical lift of 12 pounds per horsepower. The diagram immediately above shows how lift is obtained.

Vehicle Oddities (Dec, 1953)

I can’t imagine why these didn’t take off. That monorail train looks utterly stable to me! Not to mention the plane stabilized by a pendulum.

Vehicle Oddities

Boynton Bicycle Locomotive built in 1889 was tested in Gravesend, Brooklyn, on one overhead and one ground rail. Arrangement was supposed to reduce weight, friction and save power on curves.

Bicycle Airship designed to fly in any direction was the fantastic brainchild of Herman Rieckert in 1889. Bicycle apparatus in pilothouse flapped side and center wings, providing motive power.

Plane Refuels from Speeding Auto / Big Clock (Jan, 1933)

This just seems like a bad idea.

Transferring gasoline from an automobile to a speeding airplane was a feat accomplished at Muroc Dry Lake, Calif., the other day, demonstrating a new way of refueling on the fly. Hitherto an airplane making an endurance flight has been able to take on fuel only from another plane. For the unusual stunt, a small sedan was fitted with a special superstructure to handle the hose, and contact was successfully made between plane and car after a few minutes’ maneuvering. When the fuel tanks had been replenished a supply of oil was pumped to the plane. The success of the stunt depended on keeping the machine at the same speed.

One Man Bicycle Dirigible (Sep, 1929)

One Man Bicycle Dirigible

A dirigible balloon, run by foot power with bicycle drive, is being built by a Vermont inventor.

INTEREST in aviation is by no means exclusively confined to light airplanes, as is demonstrated by the number of letters contributed to Modern Mechanics’ Shop

Mail Box in which the writers inquire as to the possibility of constructing a small dirigible balloon which can be operated by man power. A dirigible powered with a bicycle, as depicted in the drawing above and as shown on the cover of the magazine this month, is under process of construction by Ray Fraser, of Brattleboro, Vermont. As planned by Mr. Fraser, the bag of his balloon will be 30 feet long by 15 feet in diameter.

Plane Passengers Bailed Out Automatically (Oct, 1932)

Plane Passengers Bailed Out Automatically

ONE of the most pressing needs of aviation has been a mechanical method whereby all passengers could be simultaneously and automatically bailed out at the psychological moment, that is, when the pilot learns that all hope for saving the plane is lost.

Such a method has now put in its appearance in the aviation world. With the equipment shown in the above photo, it is possible for the pilot to send his passengers on a flight groundward by parachute whether they want to bail out or not.



THRESHING the air like giant paddle wheels, four huge propellers serve the double purpose of lifting and propelling an odd wingless plane designed by two Denver, Colo., inventors. Mounted in pairs on struts jutting obliquely upward from the fuselage, the “propeller wings” have opposing blades fixed on a common shaft at an angle of ninety degrees to each other. An automatic mechanism turns the shafts to “feather” the blades so that each upstroke propels the plane forward and each downstroke provides lift. Drive shafts in the struts connect the blades with the motor in the fuselage. The pilot may control blade pitch to gain either greater speed or more lift.

Now You Can Fly Around the World (Jun, 1936)

This sounds like a lot of fun. As long as they keep the Hindenburg filled with helium and not hydrogen on that first leg.

Now You Can Fly Around the World


By John E. Lodge

OUT of the sky over Lakehurst, N. J., a few days hence, the enormous silver Von Hindenburg, biggest Zeppelin ever built, is scheduled to nose down for a landing at the end of its maiden voyage to America. Not many weeks later, the four-engined, twenty-five-ton China Clipper will head out past the promontories of the Golden Gate on its first passenger flight to the Orient.

Those two events will forge the final links in a vast chain of airways to encircle the globe. Before the end of this summer, you will be able to buy tickets for an aerial circuit of the earth as easily as you now purchase them for a round-the-world cruise by steamer. Years of preparation, the flights of daring pioneers, and the latest advances in engineering and radio have given a solid foundation to what, but a few short decades ago, was a seemingly impossible dream.