Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Passenger Air Travel (1945)

The cover of the March, 1945 issue of Popular Science shows a streamlined bubble-top bus onto which passengers deplane. If we notice the less fantastic predictions of this illustration, (specifically, widespread passenger air travel), we find that this vision was largely realized.

See also:
Airport of the Future (1967)
Fuller's Traveling Cartridge (circa 1960s)


jnutley said...

Both those aircraft are modified B-29s. The terminal harks to the '39 World's Fair just a little, and so the bus is the only piece of "future" in the whole pic.

Benjamin said...

And even the bus to the plane eventually became reality - they were used for decades at Dulles Airport in Virginia (and may still be, though I think they were trying to phase them out). No bubble top, though.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly there appears to be some kind of service counter or ticket counter inside the bus -- check the rear near the plane.

The plane that the bus has pulled up to appears to have two passenger decks -- I believe this predates Boeing's designs for the Stratocruiser.

Unknown said...

Today, those huge elevated buses at Dulles are rarely if ever used to dock directly with the planes, but they're still used as shuttles to get between the midfield terminals where most of the planes actually dock, and the main terminal.

When I was a kid, they were the usual means of getting to your plane, and I recall them being unpleasant. They'd often stop on the field after leaving the gate as a means of simply holding the passengers while the plane was being prepared (they were called "motor lounges"), but there was inadequate seat space for everyone and the air conditioning inside them was usually inadequate as well.

Anonymous said...

Found it very interesting...... personally prefer the services of Frontier Airlines like real time flight status, mobile services & flight tracker.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. Maybe some airport would like to try a bubble top train, intead of bus?