Inventors Patent Odd Designs For Safer Planes (May, 1935)

Inventors Patent Odd Designs For Safer Planes

Unusual ships, straying away from accepted designs, are being tried in an effort to increase safety and simplify air travel. Some of thef ideas are shown here!

The odd looking barrel shaped airplane above is based on the patent of Hans G. E. Roth, of New Rochelle. N. Y. It differs from the successful Stipa-Caproni barrel shaped ship, built some time ago in Italy, in that the propellers are not mounted within the tunnel itself and in the curious arrangement of vertical fins above and below the main wing. These fins aid in lateral and directional control. Passenger accommodations would probably be located in the thickened portion of die barrel about the main wing, while die crew would be in the lower fin as shown above.

Maginot Tower (Jan, 1935)

It seems like they didn’t quite understand that the planes were the important part, not the tower.

TO GET defense aircraft into action more quickly, architects of Paris have worked out plans for a huge aerodrome tower, more than a mile in height, which will literally hurl planes, into the air at the 5000-ft. level, ready for combat.
High-speed elevators would bring planes from the roof-top-level landing field up to each of the three aerodrome platforms. Swooping downward after leaving the inclined take-off platform, planes would reach flying speed with little loss of altitude.

Oregon Man Builds Flapping Wings for Mountain Gliding (Feb, 1935)

If he actually tried to jump off that cliff with those I’m guessing this is the last picture of him alive.

Oregon Man Builds Flapping Wings for Mountain Gliding
WITH only a pair of strange cloth-covered wings strapped over his arms, Joe Fodie of Rowena, Oregon, hopes to glidfe through space by the power of his arms alone, after jumping from a mountain top precipice. Should this intrepid inventor glide safely to earth, it will be the first time man has flown through the air under his own power. The queer wings are hinged at their center, with a stop to prevent them from buckling upward. As the arms are moved upward in flight, the outer halves of the wings would naturally fold inward; on the downward stroke they flatten out again, providing lifting power. Fodie designed his wing action to resemble as closely as possible the flapping motion characteristic of a bird in flight.

Metal Rotors (Jul, 1948)

Metal Rotors Help Helicopter Fight Ice

All-metal rotor blades and a cabin floor hatch are novel features of a Sikorsky helicopter being tested by the Navy for use on carriers, battleships and cruisers. The blades are more easily adapted to de-icing equipment than the wooden ones now used and are less likely to be damaged. Air-sea rescues and cargo loading are simplified by the hatch. To protect deck personnel and prevent the blades from striking a rolling deck during landings on heavy seas, the tail rotor is mounted on an arm that extends upward high enough to give full head clearance. Designated the XHJS-1. the craft carries five, has a 110-mile-an-hour top speed and range of 330 miles.

What’s it like to be a Boeing engineer? (Sep, 1952)

My favorite part is the caption: “Solving a dynamics problem with the Boeing Computer”. THE Boeing computer? What just the one? Do they all have to share?

What’s it like to be a Boeing engineer?

Boeing engineers enjoy many advantages — among them the finest re-search facilities in the industry. These include such advanced aids as the Boeing-designed, Boeing-built Electronic Analog Computer shown above.
This is part of the stimulating background that helps Boeing men maintain the leadership and prestige of an
Engineering Division that’s been growing steadily for 35 years.


This article is supposedly about German secret weapons, but really is a propaganda piece expounding on the superiority of American arms and engineering. My favorite quote is: “So far the Germans haven’t come through with anything approaching the new British-American jet-driven plane, which is already in production.”

As far as I know the Germans already had Me-262‘s in the field at this point. The the only American jet to be deployed in the war was the P-80 and by the end of hostilities in Europe, a grand total of 4 had made it to Europe.


by Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson

“Our new weapons,” says Admiral W. H. P. Blandy, “can be and are kept secret, except that the enemy receives hill knowledge of their effects.” Here, in a sober analysis. Mi’s military analyst debunks the Herrenvolk’s “secret weapon” scare.

OUT of the rumor factories of Stockholm, Bern, and Berlin come periodic threats of miracle-working Nazi “secret weapons” that will blast the Allies sky high and clinch the war overnight. Are they sheer bluff?

As this is being written, a hullabaloo is still raging in the press over the much-touted German “rocket bomb.” Dr. Goebbels himself, fanning the propaganda flames, has claimed that a whole British convoy was wiped out in the English Channel in a matter of minutes by murderous long-range rocket shells. He would have us believe that the entire North French coast is a solid mass of rocket batteries capable of lobbing 12-ton bombs over London, each one powerful enough to devastate 20 square miles.

Electronic Machine Speeds Fliqht Information to Area Offices (May, 1955)

Given all the stories I’ve been reading at the Consumerist, it wouldn’t surprise me if the airlines still used these things.

Electronic Machine Speeds Fliqht Information to Area Offices

American Airlines has turned to an electronic machine to provide fast, accurate flight information to all its offices in the New York area. The machine, the Magne-tronic Reservisor, is already in use, handling reservations automatically. In its new utilization, information on all flights, incoming and outgoing, is fed into the whirling drum that is the machine’s “memory,”
and is then available at any airline office in the area. To obtain the information, an agent has only to push a simple combination of buttons on the branch-office keyboard. The answer is returned in flashing lights. Immediately available flight information allows the agent to answer queries at once instead of checking bulletin-board postings.

Aerocoupe Speeds 75 M.P.H. (Mar, 1937)

I’m not quite sure how adding an unneccessary tail to a car makes it highly streamlined, but I do like his driving goggles.

Aerocoupe Speeds 75 M.P.H.
HIGHLY streamlined and following accepted aeronautical design in construction, a novel aerocoupe developed by Richard Crossley, of East Haven, Conn., has a top speed of 75 m.p.h. The cabin resembles an airplane fuselage, featuring longerons, braces, etc. For traction, the vehicle is equipped with three airplane-type wheels.

Our Air Force – A Farce! (May, 1939)

Interesting article from just before WWII pointing out that the U.S. air force sucks ass, has slow planes, is disorganized and hobbled by politics.

Our Air Force – A Farce!

“We are five years behind England and Germany in planes, engines and equipment and a full 10 years behind in the development of our air force as a third arm of defense”

by Major Al Williams

AMERICA is not an airpower! We have, instead, two flying services— one with the Army and the other with the Navy—and they are not adequate for the defense of the nation.

As airpower goes, I estimate that we’re about five years behind Europe’s leaders in planes, engines, and equipment, and a full 10 years would be needed for the maturity of a brand new service. This goes in spite of a European demand for American fighting ships, in spite of “downhill” speeds of from 575 to 700 m.p.h. claimed for blunt-nosed radial engined planes, and in spite of a college-student civilian training program which portends to be a solution to the pilot problem.

Our air-cooled engines are good, and hold their own with foreign radials. Our ships came in handy in the scramble for planes after the Munich incident; they are fill-ins for building programs that weren’t geared to air war. But they are powered by engines which can’t approach the English Rolls-Royce streamlined power plants, for instance, and none of the planes is in the same speed bracket with standard fighting ships of the airpower nations.

Flying BARREL to Carry 100 Passengers (Mar, 1933)

Flying BARREL to Carry 100 Passengers

Development of a huge “flying barrel” transport plane capable of carrying a hundred passengers inside its thick tubular hull is foreshadowed by recent successful test flights of the hollow fuselage plane shown in the photograph directly above, designed by Engineer Stipa of the Italian Caproni works. The picture shows: double cockpits placed on top of the cylindrical body, but in the refined version of the plane for large scale passenger traffic, the piloting compartment is faired into wing and propeller is driven through gears much like the dirigible Akron.