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Modern Mechanix September 1935

300 Mile-An-Hour Zep-Plane Proposed

CAPABLE of rifling its way through the air at a speed of 300 miles an hour, or hovering motionless above a chosen spot, an airplane-Zeppelin soon to be put through exhaustive tests at Rapid City, S. D., is expected by its inventors to become the transport plane of the future.

Startling though the design of the plane may be in its radical departure from accepted plans, combining as it does features of both the airplane and the Zeppelin, it represents years of work on the part of Rev. C. H. Loocke, known as the “Flying Parson,” and Lorin Hansen, a young printer.

Suspended in a structure resembling a conventional airplane minus the fuselage is an all-metal, cigar-shaped gas chamber provided with corkscrew type driving vanes. This hull is built of beryllium and filled with helium gas to provide a large percentage of the lift.

This entire issue can be downloaded here


Electro-Ray Tank

Modern Mechanix August 1935 thumbnail
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Modern Mechanix August 1935

LIGHTNING, enemy of man for countless centuries, may become his deadliest weapon of war. Combining the Van deGraff lightning generator with the newest high speed war tank, a design has been suggested for an electro-ray tank which promises to revolutionize offensive warfare.

The gunner of this lightning-generating tank, seated at the control desk inside the massive metal sphere, can direct at enemy troops a small but extremely powerful stream of water, as the screw-driven vehicle rumbles forward at high speed. Along this conducting stream artificial lightning from the hundred-million volt charged sphere would crackle ominously, delivering instant death to all living creatures sprayed by the water.


Dyno-Wheel Motor Bus

Modern Mechanix June 1935 thumbnail
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Modern Mechanix June 1935

Promising to revolutionize the field of motor transportation, the new Dyno-Wheel bus operates upon practically the same principle as the tiny “Dynasphere” auto which was successfully built by Dr. J. A. Purves of Taunton, England, some years ago.

A single huge drum wheel supports the car at high speeds. Control wheels on either side are raised or lowered in response to the steering gear, to tip the bus slightly and change the direction of travel. Small fore and aft wheels come into action only when stopping or starting. A stabilizing fin keeps the car level at high speeds.


Aero-Drive Monorail Express

Modern Mechanix April 1935

Obviously, I usually focus on the covers of these magazines, but the articles are just as amazing in their own way. In this one issue, you could read about;

600-Passenger Plane of Future to Use Underground Airport
Scientists Invent Machine To Discover How Brain Works
Professor Stays Home; Conducts Class With Two-Way Radio
Turntable Swings Autos To Pumps In Rotary Gas Station
Building Stratosphere Air-Liners
Umbrella Follows Modern Trend With “Safety” Window
Baby Bounces Through Window in “Safety” Chair
Pneumatic Tubes Shoot Hot Meals To Homes
New Projector Throws Illustrations Behind Speaker’s Back
Defense Gun Hurls Balls of Fire


Aero-Drive Desert Bus Replaces Camels

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Modern Mechanix February 1935

Protected from tropical sand storms, desert travelers of the future may be able to whiz across the Sahara in monster 100-passenger aero-drive buses following radio beam highways. Camel caravans 
would be out-moded by the standard of comfort possible in the proposed buses. 
Preliminary details of this whirring, bouncing giant of the sands call for propulsion entirely by air, with a 2500 h.p. aviation engine and pusher propeller mounted atop the roof. Most unusual feature of the desert bus is a series of spherical tires on each side which would provide good traction over the shifting sands. Directly back of the propeller is a steering fin which controls the direction of the ship.

Also featuring Around the World on the New Airways of the Seas 


Under-Sea Tractor-Sphere Roams Ocean Floor

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Modern Mechanix January 1935

Newest of mechanical monsters intended for under-sea exploration is the tractor-sphere being designed by Otis Barton, builder of the bathysphere used by Dr. William Beebe in setting a new world’s diving record of 3028 feet.

The new invention, intended to be driven into the sea from the beach level under its own power, might be classed as a bathysphere mounted on caterpillar treads. Powerful electric motors operating from sealed-in storage batteries would move this undersea tractor over the rocky slopes and pinnacles of the ocean floor.