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Bel Geddes Airliner Number 4 (1929)

Triton

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Stargazer2006

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Not quite my definition of "gorgeous"... ::)

... but very interesting, anyway. I often figured this design was typical Popular Mechanics or such invention... As to the flying characteristics of such an aircraft, if built, I doubt very much it could have been very good...

As an aside, I seem to recall that Norman Bel Geddes was the father of actress Barbara, of Dallas fame.
 

Triton

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  • Stargazer2006 said:
    Not quite my definition of "gorgeous"... ::)

    ... but very interesting, anyway. I often figured this design was typical Popular Mechanics or such invention... As to the flying characteristics of such an aircraft, if built, I doubt very much it could have been very good...
    It's cool for its art deco style. Bel Geddes was inspired by the luxury passenger liners that were crossing the Atlantic. It would be the airplane that Cunard, Norddeutsche Lloyd (NDL), Hamburg America, Italian Line or other passenger liner operators would buy. The design is from another era and a different mind set before the goal was to cram as many bodies into an airframe.

    Among the Bel Geddes Airliner No. 4 creature comforts:

    • main lounge 36 ft high
    • 9 decks
    • 3 Kitchens
    • 13 pantries
    • library
    • writing rooms
    • 2 public dining rooms
    • main dining room coverts into a dance floor for 100 couples orchestra platform
    • 3 private dining rooms capable of feeding 40 people
    • 4 deck tennis courts
    • 6 shuffle board courts
    • 6 quoits pitches
    • library
    • writing room
    • 1 gym with dressing rooms and showers
    • 1 men's Solarium w/16 couches and a masseur
    • 1 women’s Solarium w/16 couches and a masseuse
    • 1 children’s playroom
    • 1 doctor's office with waiting room
    • barber shop
    • hairdresser's salon
    • 2 bars
    • 1 store
    • 1 huge promenade deck
    • 1 Veranda Cafe seats 90
    • 18 single state rooms
    • 81 double staterooms
    • 24 suites w/ baths
    • 179 sleeping rooms
    • air-conditioning


    Specifcations:
    Passengers: 606
    Crew: 155
    Wing Span: 528' 5"
    Total power: 38,000 hp
    Engines: 20 1,900 hp internal combustion engines
    Engines in reserve: 6 1,900 hp internal combustion engines
    Maximum Speed: 150 mph
    Cruising Speed: 100 mph
    Landing Speed: 72 mph
    Absolute Ceiling: 10,000 ft
    Time to Climb to ceiling: 1 hr
    Speed at Ceiling: 87-1/2 mph
    Cruising Range Without Refueling: 7,500 miles
    Gross Weight: 1,275,300 lbs
    Unloaded Weight: 662,600 lbs
    Load: 612,700 lbs
    Time from Chicago to Plymouth England: 42 hrs
    Cost of trip: $300 -1930's money
    Cost of aircraft: $9,000,000 - 1930's money

    Crew:
    • 1 Captain
    • 1 Mate
    • 2 Navigators
    • 2 Pilots
    • 1 Chief Engineer
    • 2 Engineers
    • 7 Mechanics
    • 2 Radio Operators
    • 2 Electricians
    • 4 Seamen
    • 1 Purser
    • 1 Cashier
    • 2 Telephone Operators
    • 2 Clerks
    • 1 Stenographer
    • 1 Librarian
    • 1 Baggage Master
    • 2 Baggage Men
    • 1 Chief Steward
    • 1 Chief Dining- Room Steward
    • 2 Head Waiters
    • 2 Wine Stewards
    • 24 Waiters
    • 7 Bus Boys
    • 1 Chief Bar Steward
    • 9 Bar Stewards
    • 1 Chief Deck Steward
    • 6 Deck Stewards
    • 1 Chef, 6 Cooks
    • 2 Dishwashers
    • 24 Room Stewards
    • 16 Room Stewardesses
    • 1 Doctor
    • 1 Nurse
    • 1 Gymnast
    • 1 Masseur
    • 1 Masseuse
    • 1 Barber
    • 1 Hairdresser
    • 1 Manicurist
    • 7 Musicians
    • 1 Shop Attendant
    • 1 Children's Room Stewardess

 

Skybolt

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Yep, it must be compared to other 20s gant airliner proposals/design (Junkers, Pegna, etc.). In that, it was more flamboyant and aero in style, but, apart for the size, not so out-of-touch with what people thought was correct.
 

royabulgaf

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-sigh- Wine stewards, masseur, masseuse- Now Airbus wants to do standing room. :'(
 

Maveric

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Bel Geddes Airliner Number 4...
I´m interested in the other numbers :p
 

bigvlada

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If they ever make the sequel to the Sky captain and the world of tomorrow, this plane would be a nice addition to the diesel punk genre.
 

The Artist

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While doing an image search for "Curtiss-Wright Badge" I came across the site below that has smaller versions of the drawings above along with a lot of other flying wing images. Thought I'd pass this along so someone can search for 'new' images.

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/amphalon/tags/wing/
 

avion ancien

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Looking at Triton's specification for this flight of fantasy, all that's missing is the Olympic size swimming pool!
 

Apophenia

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Maveric: I'd like to see those other Bel Geddes Air Liner Numbers as well. Alas, only Air Liner Number 4* is mentioned or illustrated in Bel Geddes' Horizons. BTW, that entire book is available online:

https://archive.org/details/horizons00geddrich
Norman Bel Geddes, Horizons, Little, Brown, and Company, Boston, 1932,
See: Chapter 5, By Air To-Morrow, pg 79 (Air Liner section, pp-109-121)

The illustrations of the aircraft were rendered by Charles Stowe Myers, hired by Bel Geddes specifically to illustrated Horizons.

One puzzle is the involvement of Otto A. Kuhler (or Koller?). It's claimed that he was an engineer involved with Pfalz Flugzeugwerke designs during WW1 but there doesn't seem to be any record of him. I'm assuming that here there is some confusion with Bel Geddes' fellow industrial designer, Otto August Kuhler.

On other Bel Geddes aircraft designs, I note that the Harry Ransom Center at UT Austin has the following boxed files:

230 Circular Airplane 1932 1 folder
328 Airliner No. 4 1929-1934 12 folders
495 Experimental Airplanes 1945 3 folders

As well as:

237 Horizons 1931-1935, 1956-1957 27 folders
291 Pan American Clipper 1935-1946 22 folders

http://norman.hrc.utexas.edu/nbgpublic/

The well-illustrated Danny Soar acticle listed by Sandi back in 2007 no longer exists. However, it is still available through the Internet Archive:
http://web.archive.org/web/20100304132053/http://home.att.net/~dannysoar/BelGeddes.htm

__________________________________________

* I'm using the designation style listed in Horizons for all Bel Geddes sample designs. Also see:
"The Aesthetics of Ascension in Norman Bel Geddes's Futurama", Adnan Morshed (NASM), Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 63, No. 1 (March 2004), pp. 74-99
http://ejmarkfort.typepad.com/files/morshed-adnan-geddes-futurama.pdf

__________________________________________
 

gabrielorosco

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From an engineering point of view, with these engines and design, would it be able to fly in a good manner?
 
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