FUNDS recently appropriated by the government have put the United States Department of Commerce, Aviation Branch, squarely behind the immediate development of a chain of five floating airports which will span the Atlantic for regular airways service.

This recently announced appropriation, amounting to $1,500,000 was negotiated by Eugene L. Vidal, Director of Aeronautics of the Department of Commerce, in behalf of Edward R. Armstrong, inventor of the seadrome, and completes a 16 year fight to gain recognition for a project which both Mr. Vidal, a competent and experienced airways operator, and Mr. Armstrong solidly believe in. As well, it will provide work for a great number of unemployed, as 80 per cent of the cost of such development projects goes to labor.

Pontoons Support Odd Fishing Boat (Apr, 1940)

Pontoons Support Odd Fishing Boat

PONTOONS made of welded sections of steel float a unique boat constructed by students in an Oakland, Calif., school of welding for use as a fishing craft for large parties of anglers on San Francisco Bay. Powered by two 110-horsepower gasoline engines, one installed in the stern section of each pontoon, the odd boat will have a speed of about twenty knots.

Twin Amphibian Cars for Monorail (Jul, 1934)

Twin Amphibian Cars for Monorail

Swift, Overhead Trams to Be “Equipped with Floats to Cross Water Like Boats AMPHIBIAN trains that can whiz above desert sands on an overhead rail, or plunge into the water to ford a river, are contemplated by the Soviet Government in an amazing plan to tap mineral wealth in Turkestan. They are to travel three projected monorail lines of unprecedented design, totaling 332 miles in length and crossing deserts and rivers.

Floating Mooring Mast Proposed as Way Station for Airships (Apr, 1923)

Floating Mooring Mast Proposed as Way Station for Airships

CONVINCED that battle fleets of the future will require the aid of rigid airships as long range scouts, aeronautic experts recently have suggested an ingenious method of mooring rigids to the mast of a moving depot ship at sea, as pictured above.

The depot ship, preferably a converted cruiser, has a hangar forward for small fighting planes, with a launching deck from which the planes are seen taking off to protect the rigid as it returns from a trip.



Power for a new motor ferry, recently tried out on the Amersee River in Bavaria, is supplied by the passenger’s car. Driving onto the open deck of the ferry, the motorist stops with the rear wheels of his car resting upon rollers, similar to those used on most brake-testing machines.

Airplane Influence in Speed Boat (Feb, 1933)

Airplane Influence in Speed Boat

SPEEDBOATS have for many years been the subject of attack by inventors. Many of the so-called “solutions” are merely brainwaves such as wheels in water for the boat to run on and so on. The readers of Modern Mechanix and Inventions will immediately recognize something rational in the above solution, which is a development of existing elements, put together in a new way so as to achieve new comforts, new speed and utter dryness.

Fighting Chinese Pirates with U.S. Marines (Apr, 1933)

Fighting Chinese Pirates with U.S. Marines


Seven Yankee gunboats, patrolling the Yangtze river in conjunction with those of other nations, wage constant war against the bandits who infest this district which boasts one-third of the world’s population. Little known activities of this romantic branch of the foreign service are described in this article.

WHILE riding through an almost endless succession of dangerous rapids, whirlpools and currents in the Yangtze River, about 160 miles above Hankow, a merchant vessel operated by an American, named Captain Baker, suddenly went aground. It was night-time and a stone’s throw away could be dimly seen the craggy outlines of the shore.

ICE-ISLAND in Mid-Atlantic Proposed (Oct, 1932)

ICE-ISLAND in Mid-Atlantic Proposed

SEADROMES for ocean landing fields are not a new idea, a steel ‘drome designed by Edward Armstrong, recently described in these pages, being well on the road to practical acceptance. But the proposal to build seadromes of ice, recently advanced from Germany, seems fantastic until one realizes that the idea has already passed the experimental stage with flying colors.

Screw-Ship (May, 1939)

Tomorrows Inventions

PLANS for a speedy submarine “screw-ship,” which would serve as a carrier for the quick dispatch of mail and freight between continents, have been developed by Maximilian Bernd, an engineer in Hamburg, Germany. Resembling a torpedo in general appearance, the proposed underwater craft consists of two parts. One, a cylinder-like inner chamber, features the crew’s rooms, the storage hold, engines (electric) and a gyro device to maintain balance.

Turbo Wheel Liners to Speed Across Seas (Jun, 1934)

Turbo Wheel Liners to Speed Across Seas

AVIATION’S rapid strides are revolutionizing all other modes of transportation. Railroads are meeting the demand for greater speed with streamlined trains. Automobiles are following the most modern trends in streamlining.

On the seas, however, even a streamlined ship will not be able to meet the competition of regular airplane schedules touching airports anchored in the ocean. Resistance from wind is great, but the sea itself slows down an ocean liner much more.