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.
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."'
(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
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