Designs of Tomorrow
June 1957 American Modeler
Keep in mind when reading this featured article titled "Designs for Tomorrow," that it appeared in the June 1957 edition of American Modeler. The designer, Mr. Bill Martin (Ashland, KY), was was ahead of his time. Every aspect of the airplane is well-thought-out and is utterly ingenuous. So, the question is, "Why are almost none of the features incorporated into today's commercial aircraft?" Did Mr. Martin never have the opportunity to pursue his dreams? If anybody knows what happened to Bill Martin, please write to let me know and I will publish it here.|
Bill Martin actually saw this posting and wrote to answer the question of what eventually happened. Here it is, from March 8, 2011:
"Dear Mr. Blattenberger,
I am the Bill Martin who designed the airliner in the "Designs of Tomorrow" that was published in the June 1957 issue if American Modeler. I was quite surprised when a young friend found this on the internet. I was still in high school when I made the design and the illustrations. I was paid $50 ($25 for each drawing). That was a lot of money for a school kid in 1957. I did not get to pursue my dream as an aircraft designer, as my father had passed away when I was a junior in high school, and I could not afford college. However, I had a long, successful career as a draftsman, and technical illustrator for a major industry. And I earned a pilot's license along the way.
Best regards, Bill Martin "
DESIGNS OF TOMORROW
BY AMERICAN MODELER READERS
"The loss of so many lives in recent plane crashes has led me to design a transport which I think would be safer," declares Bill Martin of Ashland, Ky.
"Design is based upon a theory of mine that if the passenger compartment was located in the rear of the plane, the chances of lives lost would be lessened. Although I have never seen a plane crash, I have collected a number of pictures and in most cases only the tail section remained.
"Another safety feature about this plane is the wings are located on the tail. Engines and fuel tanks are located a fair distance from the fuselage so that in the event of a crack-up they would be ripped clear of the passenger section.
"I plan to make airplane designing my future. I am 19 years old and have not as yet had any training in aircraft design or engineering. but I expect: to start college in about a year."'
Details: (1) TV camera in nose for taxiing, parking; (2) Cargo compartment; (3) Rigidly braced section; (4) Galley and lavatories; (5) 48-seat passenger compartment, seats mounted backwards for added safety; (6) Cockpit; (7) Stairwell inside fin from cockpit to passenger section; (8) Observation window.
Specifications: Length, 110'; span, 120'; Crew, 4-5; Speed, approx. 650 mph; Power, 4 turbojet engines each developing 7,500-lb thrust. (Plans and sketch by Mr. Martin.)
Posted January 24, 2011