Art | June 01, 2008

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In 1929 American theatrical and industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes drafted “Airliner Number 4,” a plan for a nine-deck amphibian airliner with areas for deck games, shops and salons, an orchestra, a gymnasium and a solarium. He calculated that twenty engines would be needed to achieve cruising altitude. In Horizons (1932), a book on American streamlined design and urban planning, he carefully detailed the airliner’s projected fl ying time and fuel usage, along with the cost of building, equipping, furnishing and operating the plane. To fi nancial backers, the design seemed innovative but extravagant, and it was never built. [2008]

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