Trailers for Planes Carry Extra Fuel (Dec, 1938)
Trailers for Planes Carry Extra Fuel
TO INCREASE the cruising range of airplanes on long-distance flights, John Akerman, Chicago, Ill., inventor, proposes the novel flying gas tanks pictured in the drawing. The curious fuel wings, divided into a number of cells and provided with an automatic, float-operated mechanism that keeps them level, are towed behind an airplane by means of strong, hollow tubes that also serve as connecting fuel lines. During the take-off, the gas wings ride on wheeled undercarriages until they reach flying speed. When one of the tanks becomes empty during a long flight, it is detached from the fuel train by a special release mechanism, and glides to the ground where it can be retrieved, returned to the airport, and used over again.