Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Aviation Of Tomorrow (According To 1946)!!

Nothing is more fun than looking at the wonderful predictions of future technology from our Golden Age forebears.

Yeah, it's all too easy, I know. Low-hanging fruit, snark-wise.

Then again, it is interesting how we don't see much of this these days--not a lot of 2016 comic books making serious projections of what flight will be like in 2076, for example.

Maybe it's because we're smarter and wiser about tech today, what with our constant exposure to it, and E3, and projections, and wearing it all the time. We're no longer wowed by whiz-bangs projections of what the future will be like, because we're already livin' in the future!

Maybe, after so many wrong calls, people are inherently more conservative about making such predictions.

So, while we mock, we will mock gently, for at least these bold writers and artists had the cajones to make seemingly ridiculous predictions. (And it didn't hurt that they had no idea throw away stories in a disposable medium would ever be seen again!). All hail the Nostradami!

So let's look at...The Aviation Of Tomorrow!!! (According to 1946)

This one is actually pretty good...

But no, our jetliners are not like ocean liners, and don't have dance salons.

And while I'm sure that some ultra-swank airline out there may have done this..., there are no private compartments with showers.

And most definitely...

...we do not have mid-ocean terminals!

This one came very true, though...

Less correct, however...

Maybe if you're Donald Trump. Otherwise, no.

No, no, no!!

And on a stunningly sexist note:


This one gets sorts half-credit:

It sorta kinda captures the stealth bomber.

Best prediction?

Yeah, I think those jets have a future.

And, in a proof that engineers don't know everything:

Engineers assert, you decide!

Scientists can be wrong too, apparently:

Not unless "closer than you think" means "sometime further than 70 years in the future."

I wish we could take a time machine back there, and show these creators what the future of air travel was really would destroy their faith in the future, methinks!

From Marvels Of Science #3 (1946)


Warren JB said...

Yeah, that dirigible's angle already looks like it's on an 'oh the humanity' trajectory.

Green Luthor said...

I wonder if there aren't the same predictions, not so much because of the number of wrong predictions per se, but because of how little change there's been in civilian flight in recent history? In 1946, they were less than 50 years from the invention of the airplane, and had already seen the technology progress to jet planes and regular transatlantic flights. Nowadays, on the other hand, we're still using (and building) many of the same basic commercial aircraft that were introduced back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Just from a quick Wikipedia search, the Boeing 737 was first used for public flights in 1968, and the 747 in 1970. Both are still in use today; they may have received some model upgrades, but... really, how many non-aviation buffs are going to know anything about that? Even fairly new models (the 787 from 2011) aren't really going to be noticed by most people; it's an airliner, it's not much faster or anything, so it doesn't really matter. (In contrast, the Ford Mustang was introduced in 1964, but one need not be a car buff to be able to tell the difference between a 1964 Mustang and a 2017 model; you might not know the technical details, but you can tell just by looking at them that they're different cars.)

Really, probably the biggest development in commercial air flight in the past 40 years was probably the Concorde, but that ultimately proved too expensive for most people, and they've all since been retired.

So maybe there's an attitude that "nothing's changed in this field in so long, so it'll probably stay that way for a while"? Like, the prediction for the future is that things *aren't* going to change significantly, whereas in 1946 they believed things would progress as rapidly as they had been doing?

I dunno, I'm just kinda spitballing here. Ignore me if I'm not making any sense with this.

Jonathan Hendry said...

Green Luthor wrote: "Really, probably the biggest development in commercial air flight in the past 40 years was probably the Concorde, but that ultimately proved too expensive for most people, and they've all since been retired."

The biggest recent commercial air development is probably the A380, because it's so enormous. Airports required modifications in order to handle it, likely involving configuration of gangways to fit the plane and efficiently handle the possible 700 passengers.

Emirates' giant A380 has a shower suite available in first class.

I think there's one shower suite per plane. Apparently each first class passenger is allotted 5 minutes of hot water.

Jonathan Hendry said...

Oh, and the power of Iron Maiden (or at least the commercial airline pilot lead singer, Bruce Dickinson) is backing a new cargo airship venture.