Aerial Navigation

The Express Gazette

Count Zepplein, whose new airship now has the world in a flutter, has received from Uncle Sam a patent for a flying locomotive which will draw in free air a vestibule train of aerial trailers loaded with men and freight. Inasmuch as he made good his original ambition to give the world a steerable airship which would transport men, there is some substantial foundation for the anticipation that we will all—early in the dawning twentieth century—be riding about in his aerial express trains of detachable cars—trains which literally run upon "air lines."

Now this is how the successful airship inventor promises to build his vestibule train of flying cars. The details are set forth in his own specifications, now filed in the patent office. The locomotiv and trailers are all to be Bologna sausage shaped, and similar in general appearance to the Zeppelin airship now being tested. Beneath the aerial locomotive and each trailer is to be placed a gangway or running board rigidly connected to the main framework. Along this the conductor is presumably to walk while collecting fares and directing operations. The crew is to use this passageway to gain access to all parts of the train. From it rope ladders run up the sides and to the roofs of the cylindrical bodies of the respective vessels.

The locomotive for this Zeppelin train is to be the only vehicle provided with motive power. At each side are to be placed two air screws like large electric fans, held free from the sides by brackets resembling the outriggers of racing boats. Then there are to be rudders above and beneath at the prow. The locomotive is to be connected with the forward trailer, and the trailers are to be joined to one another by couplers extending from the centre of each balloon cylinder's rounded end and jointed to bend in any direction. Thus connected, a long train a la Zeppelin will have the appearance of a string of giant sausages. The vestibule at each point of juncture will be a covering sheet allowing free movement, but preventing wind from blowing in between the trailers and causing resistance. With these coverings in place the connected train will appear like a gigantic elongated worm.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

The Ideal Life
January 24, 1901

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.