I found this image over at the USC Digital Archive. According to the title, it shows the scene at the crash site of an experimental plane in 1951. Text written across the top of the image provides more detail: "Off. Gale Whitacre and crowd with plane James Martin killed in."
My question is, what's the deal with the guy in his underwear? Was he just wandering by and stopped to see what was going on? Was it a particularly hot day? I can't imagine any other reason why he'd be standing around in his tighty-whiteys.
Researchers at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences put on their thinking caps and came up with a revolutionary idea. They call it the "Big Lavatory Concept" or BigLavC for short. Their idea is to take existing airplane toilets and make them jumbo sized, so they'll be easier for overweight and disabled people to use. [news.com.au]
I'm all for bigger toilets, but since there's a limited amount of space in an airplane, if you make the bathroom twice the size, won't that mean you'll end up with fewer bathrooms overall? And thus longer lines for the loo?
But of course, I'm being naive. These big bathrooms will probably only be for first-class passengers. And to make room for them they'll get rid of the economy-class toilets entirely and just hand out buckets.
In 1964, Braniff airlines was looking for a way to differentiate itself from its competitors by adding a touch of glamour and weirdness to its service. So it hired Italian fashion designer Emilio Pucci to design the uniforms of the stewardesses. What he came up with was the plexiglass Bubble Bonnet, aka the Space Bubble Helmet. Its purpose was supposedly to protect the hair of the stewardesses from wind and rain as they crossed the tarmac. Stewardesses complained that it was hard to hear anyone while wearing the things. Read more here and here.
Developed by Goodyear in the 1950s, the Inflatoplane could fit in the trunk of a car, and then be inflated to full size in 10 minutes. The idea was that the air force could drop inflatoplanes to pilots stranded in enemy territory, allowing them to fly themselves to safety. But the project was eventually abandoned because of a series of accidents, and the military's concern that the plane could too easily be shot down. Link: bendbulletin.com
This article about Bob Laws, print-shop owner, and his dream of building a mile-long zeppelin ran in various papers back in 1977. Since it's now 35 years later, we can assume Bob's plan didn't come to fruition. But people keep dreaming of building giant zeppelins. For instance, designer Tiago Barros wants to build a giant, cloud-shaped zeppelin.