Sunday, December 12, 2010

"'Throttle?' We Just Ring Down To The Engineer!"

The Dornier Do-X; an airplane that did not have a cockpit so much as it had a bridge: (Click for the whole image).And, yes, they really did have an engineer standing watch over the dozen temperamental engines and working the (so to speak) gas pedal: (You've got to click this one).Doesn't look like a low-stress job.

(Does this look like the larval form?)

24 comments:

Davidwhitewolf said...

Wow.

Alan said...

Portholes and a dining room.

That really was a flying boat.

danno said...

A type rating in that behemoth would truly be the ultimate aviation geek accessory. (thanks for the pics!)

Jim said...

What danno said. Who knew Doogie Howser was a qualified FE?

Jim

Joseph said...

Neat!

Ken said...

That's excellent. I'm seeing a deco-punk webcomic with the crew of adventurers on the Do.X trading jibes with airshippers over the relative merits of their respective platforms.

My own daydreams run more to aluma-punk, if there is such a thing, and a SLAM with a cockpit. Haven't worked out the radiation thing, but "atomic ramjet" is one of the cooler phrases Standard English offers.

Ed Skinner said...

Really nice, thank you! (I just came across these guys up in Ashley Indiana, not close to you but darn interesting: http://keads-anotherday.blogspot.com/2010/12/retro-sunday-heavy-metal.html )

Stretch said...

Any Do-Xs left?
Largest flying boat I've ever see is a Short-Sunderland Mk V at Fantasy of Flight in Orlando, Fla.
http://www.fantasyofflight.com/aircraftpages/sunderland.htm

Justthisguy said...

@Stretch: There are, I think, still two airworthy Martin Mars's converted to water-bombers in British Columbia, somewhere. Cap'n Lex had links to some photos of them a year or so ago.

@Roberta: How many marriage proposals per annum do you turn down? (It seems every woman worth having to do with is either already happily married to someone else, or just isn't into that kind of thing. I think I waited too long.)

Comrade Misfit said...

Have you seen the Flight Engineer's station for a Lockheed Constellation?

Flight engineers on those aircraft weren't junior pilots, like they were on jets such as the 727, but experienced mechanics.

Comrade Misfit said...

Stretch, no, none exist. The original Do-X was put on display in Berlin in 1936 and was destroyed during an air raid around 1943.

Two Do-Xs were built for the Italian state airline. They apparently were very quietly scrapped in the middle 1930s.

Ancient Woodsman said...

Cool post! Thanks, Rx.

Being work-related, I'll cheerfully say 'yes' on the two airworthy Mars:

http://www.martinmars.com/aircraft.htm

And Evergreen now owns the Hughes HK-1/H-4, although it does not fly.

The one I've always wanted to see & go for a ride in is the P6M-2 but I'll probably have to shuffle off this mortal coil for that ticket. As retro as I want to get for that genre is the Consolidated Catalina...mmmmm, nice!

Roberta X said...

JustThisGuy: I'm an abysmal housekeeper, you know. :)

EB: I was thinking of the older, larger multi-engine planes -- the huge Hughes seaplane had a totally science-fiction FE installation -- but the DoX's looks so amazingly nautical, right down to the grab rail. I've yet to spot throttles in the cockpit proper, either; I haven't found an interior layout but I'd guess the FE position is behind the control cabin, under the wing. "Give us full throttle, Herr Schmidt!"

Roberta X said...

Ed: Very kewl! I followed links back to GLW. Simply amazing.

Justthisguy said...

Consolidated PBYs had the Flight Engineer's station up in the pylon under the wing.

Yup, Bad Housekeeping is Bad Housekeeping. I R 1, 2. I have have been working on the housekeeping lately, and I can see about 10% of the floor here.

I miss the old houses in which I used to live in Atlanta, with their 11-foot-high ceilings. You could go a long time there without tossing the trash, before your head hit the ceiling. I am only slightly kidding.

Justthisguy said...

Do-X was a failure mostly because of the low-aspect-ratio wing. Rohrbach did it better. The Do-X things could barely rise out of ground effect. The Curtiss engines wern't much better than the Bristols.

Justthisguy said...

Now, Bel Geddes' all-wing flying boat was another thing entirely. It had railroad tracks in its engine rooms for swapping engines in flight. I do wonder if it would have worked. I mean, it didn't just have lounges, it had an actual ballroom.

Justthisguy said...

Comrade, that is nothing, compared to the equivalent station in a B-36. Among the annoying modern media I have to put up with at divine services, there used to be an image which looked exactly like six contrails. I immediately thought, "Obviously, when God wishes to instantiate himself in an airplane, he flies a B-36."

Hey, if it's good enough for Jimmy Stewart and Curtis LeMay, it's good enough for the Deity. Yah, I know that's kinda blasphemous, but I betcha He'll understand and forgive.

Anonymous said...

Roberta:

The Kalakala was still operating out of Seattle when I was a little kid. It was AWESOME - the perfect futuristic streamlined ferry boat for the old Seattle, populated by legions of real aerospace engineers, and home to the real Boeing company (as opposed to the multi-culti bureaucratic monster that seems to have consumed it).

Them was the good old days.

BoxStockRacer

Roberta X said...

Seeing Kalakala moving 'pon the waters must have been genuinely amazing!

Google's hunt for the Bel
Geddes wing finds a lot of interesting sites.

docjim505 said...

Justthisguy and I are thinking along the same lines re: B-36. I recall watching the movie "Strategic Air Command" as a kid (my father was in SAC, so it was sort of required!) and being amazed at the FE station. After dealing with all those dials and needles and levers, surgery must have been a snap for Colonel Potter.

perlhaqr said...

And he got an awesome coat, too!

pwlsax said...

What you mostly had to do to have a coat like that was be German. No one else wore them then.

I sure like the deco-punk web comic idea. Maybe some adventurous millionaire could connive to buy the two Italian ships, save them from nautical salvage and fly them to New York with a motley crew of characters.

Roberta X said...

I own a coat like that. It needs mended, a few years back I slipped on the ice and ripped a pocket.