“A New Dirigible with Wings”

Modern Mechanics July 1929 cover
Cover of Modern Mechanics (July 1929)

In its July 1929 edition, Modern Mechanics magazine (not yet spelled with an “x” at the time) reported on the invention of a former Alaskan mail carrier named Captain William F. Cooper. He proposed to “revolutionize air and sea travel” with “a novel amphibian airship which combines various features of zeppelin, airplane and ship construction.” The magazine was so intrigued, it put an artwork of Captain Cooper’s proposed dirigible with wings on its cover.

The wings were intended “not only to give added lifting power to the ship.” They were also supposed to serve as mounts so the ship could do without the engine gondolas that were common in airships at the time.

The amphibian airship is equally at home on water as on land, for its hull is designed for travel on the surface of the sea when desired, at a rate of speed far in excess of ordinary ocean liners. Thirteen propellers, driven by seven motors, comprise the power plant. The twin propellers on the wings are driven by single engines geared up to drive them in pairs.

It’s almost hard to believe why the thing was never built. You can read the full 1929 article here.

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