New De Luxe Sleeper Planes (Mar, 1936)
New De Luxe Sleeper Planes
THE day was, when to ride in an airplane was an adventure, and one which involved a degree of “roughing it.” The newest plane design carries all the facilities of luxury and comfort afforded by any form of transportation; made possible by the great size of the new high-speed transports. The new Douglas Sleeper Transports, of American Airlines, pictured here, have a wing span of 95 feet, an over-all length of 65 feet, and height of 17-1/2; feet; the gross weight is 24,000 pounds, and they can carry 24 passengers each as day planes, or 16 as night passengers, with sleeping accommodations. The maximum speed is 215 miles an hour at the altitude of 7,000 feet; the normal cruising speed, 190 miles; the landing speed, 65 miles an hour, or less. The cruising range is 1,100 miles with 24 passengers, or 1,400 miles with 16 passengers.
Power will be such that take-off and climb may be completed with either of the two 1,000 horsepower engines, and uninterrupted flight maintained with a single engine. Both are equipped with propellers which automatically adjust their pitch (by turning the blades) to maintain maximum efficiency under the varying atmospheric conditions encountered in take-off and flight. (Air is thinner above.)
The wheels, in flight, are completely retracted into the engine nacelles (housings); and a new type of landing gear gives unusual strength and smoothness of landing.
The cabin is the roomiest yet provided on an American air line. It has eight roomy sections which fold together to form as many upper and lower berths; each 6 feet 5 inches long. There will be two dressing rooms, for men and women passengers; and in front, a commissary for serving more elaborate meals, hot and cold, without the need of the previous thermos equipment universally used. Baggage and mail space is also provided, and complete radio equipment; as well as the “automatic pilot” which supplements the manual controls.