JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 875
Here’s a highly-flammable, closely-space and
heavy-but-flimsy scenario just waiting for its first monstrous mishap.
This image is from the wonderful website of Alejandro Polanco Masa’s Tecnologia Obosleta, dedicated to antiquarian, paleofuturistic and non-existent technologies. It comes from the December 1909 issue of Scientific American, and according to the article was an “impracticable mode of transit” envisioned by an unnamed German engineer. It was a rigid structure airship--which means that it received its shape from a hard internal frame covered by a skin, rather than a balloon or dirigible, whose shapes are almost entirely dictated by a gas filling out their envelope—and looked a lot like Count von Zeppelin’s new (1899) LZ-1 flying machine. No doubt the engineer with this land-based system had been caught in the considerable zeppelin fever which existed at the time. It stretched the engineering boundaries of the possible more than just a little, and looks to me like a disaster that should’ve happened almost immediately. It was also supposed to speed along at 125 mph, by who knows what means. Seems to me that there would be fifty towers per mile for a huge flammable Zep carrying not many people--it doesn't seem to make sense to me, particualrly when railroads would've done a better job safer and cheaper moving more people and, of course, the freight that these things just couldn't carry. The SciAmerican ended: “There are engineering as well as financial objections to this scheme.”See HERE for other posts on balloons, dirigibles and zeps.