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.

To overcome this an inventor has conceived the Turbo Wheel liner, which is expected to reach a speed of 100 miles an hour. At this speed the rapidly revolving wheels of the liner will lift the hull out of the water. The ship will ride on the outer rim of the wheels only.

A lifting tail of airplane type holds the hull parallel to the line of travel. Normal airplane rudder and tail flaps control steering at high speeds.

At low speeds a revolving tail float is lowered to support the rear end of the hull and’ provide steering. Powerful Diesel type engines slung low within the rotor wheels drive each wheel independently through gearing. The Turbo Liners are expected to be capable of a speed of 100 miles per hour.

  1. Roflcopter says: February 25, 20084:48 am

    It can not work… if for any reason the lubrication or ball bearing fail slightly the spin of the large wheels will lift up the rear of that … thing… and it will tailflip…

  2. Stannous says: February 25, 20086:57 am

    There’s a human right near the hub that gives an idea of the scale of this thing and it
    isn’t that big. A 747 probably, and an Airbus A380 certainly, are larger and 6 times as fast.

  3. Myles says: February 25, 20089:32 am

    That is a really cool looking design. Leaving alone the propulsion system, I would question the 100 mph part. The picture shows the ship going over a 40ft. wave with no effect. Hitting a 40 ft wave at 100mph would tear this ship apart similar to hitting a brick wall.

  4. Slim says: February 25, 20089:43 am

    I don’t take these cover articles too seriously. Modern Mechanix was in business to sell magazines. Notice that the inventor isn’t named. He could have been a staff artist of Modern Mechanix. I think of them as a National Enquirer for the technically inclined.

  5. aerohydro says: February 25, 20088:35 pm

    This type is known as a roller-ship, and even though the example shown here leaves a lot to be desired, there’s a certain logic as to why they’re better than a conventional ship. In the late 19th Century, a French engineer called Ernest Bazin developed his own roller-ship design – an article about it can be found here:


    This PDF comes from this really very entertaining website:


    Most of the site showcases oddball ideas from the mid-20th Century as to what transport in the future (ie now) would be like. Strange ships, supersonic aircraft, monorails, flying cars, etc, all feature. There’s not a single bicycle to be seen!

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