Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Another Nick Galloway Watercolor for United Airlines...

Honest... what were they thinking!

In 1930, Boeing created the revolutionary Monomail, which made traditional biplane construction a design of the past. The Monomail wing was set lower, was smooth, made entirely of metal and had no struts (cantilevered construction). The retractable landing gear, some of the earlier models actually had fixed gear with skirts attached, streamlined the fuselage and the engine covered by an antidrag cowling added up to an advanced, extremely aerodynamic design. I think the angle Nick chose for this illustration perfectly depicts the plane's best aerodynamic advantages. I also like the warm tones on the underwing side of the plane... subtle, but a nice touch to the overall cool tones.
I read that a major drawback of the Monomail was that its design was too advanced for the engines and propellers of the time. The airplane required a low-pitch propeller for takeoff and climb and a high-pitch propeller to cruise. The plane was constantly being modified to accommodate all the new technology, but by the time the variable-pitch propeller and more powerful engines were available, the Monomail was being replaced by newer designs, like the Boeing 247. The aircraft must have been in the airline fleet briefly for they didn't even have time to paint on a United Airlines logo.

Another view. Passengers are loading into the plane via a step ladder, ha!
The Model 200, originally designed as a mail plane, apparently later, was redesigned to make the Model 221 a six-passenger transport. Both were later revised for transcontinental passenger service as Model 221A, which upgraded the passenger seating and hopefully the engine noise since the streamlined fuselage had been built for speed and not necessarily comfort. But, pity the poor pilot sitting in an open cockpit...
Honest, what were they thinking?

Copyright 2012-2013/Ben Bensen III

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