1934 Prop Car, Long Island NY.
The Aerowagon or aeromotowagon (Russian: Аэроваго́н, аэродрези́на) was an experimental high-speed railcar fitted with an aircraft engine and propeller traction invented by Valerian Abakovsky, a Russian engineer and communist from Latvia. It was originally intended to carry Soviet officials.
On 24 July 1921, a group of communists led by Fyodor Sergeyev took the Aerowagon from Moscow to the Tula collieries to test it. Abakovsky was also on board. Although they successfully arrived in Tula, on the return route to Moscow the Aerowagon derailed at high speed, killing everyone on board. The following people died in the accident:
John William Hewlett
Fyodor Sergeyev (Artyom)
Abakovsky himself, at the age of 25.
All six were buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis.
Abakovsky is on the List of Inventors Killed By Their Own Inventions
This is the Schienenzeppelin (“Rail dirigible”).
The railcar was built at the beginning of 1930 in the Hannover-Leinhausen works of the German Imperial Railway “Deutsche Reichsbahn” company. As originally built it had two conjoined BMW IV 6-cylinder petrol aircraft engines (later a single BMW VI 12-cylinder of 600 horsepower (450 kW)) driving a four-bladed (later two-bladed), fixed pitch ash propeller. The driveshaft was raised 7 degrees above the horizontal to give the vehicle some downwards thrust. The body of the Schienenzeppelin was streamlined, having some resemblance to the era’s popular Zeppelinairships, and it was built of aluminum in aircraft style to reduce weight. The railcar could carry up to 40 passengers; its interior was spartan and designed in Bauhaus-style.
On 10 May 1931, the Schienenzeppelin exceeded a speed of 200 km/h (120 mph) for the first time. On 21 June 1931, it set a new world railway speed record of 230.2 km/h (143.0 mph) on the Berlin–Hamburg line between Karstädt and Dergenthin, which was not surpassed by any other rail vehicle until 1954. The railcar still holds the land speed record for a petrol powered rail vehicle.
The failure of Schienenzeppelin has been attributed to everything from the dangers of using an open propeller in crowded railway stations to fierce competition between Kruckenberg’s company and the Deutsche Reichsbahn’s separate efforts to build high-speed railcars.
One disadvantage of the rail zeppelin was the inherent difficulty of pulling additional wagons to form a train, because of its construction. Furthermore, the vehicle could not use its propeller to climb steep gradients, as the flow would separate when full power was applied. Thus an additional means of propulsion was needed for such circumstances.
in 1939 the rail zeppelin was finally dismantled because its material was needed by the German army.
(Source: prolidepp, via t-s-k-b)
Allow me to provide some background. This is one of those things that cities do where they whip up a bunch of fiberglass sculptures- cows in Chicago, or guitars in Nashville, etc- and then they invite local artists to treat each one. Cincinnati’s mascot is the flying pig, a reference to its former nickname of “Porkopolis”. So this pig has gotten the “steampunk” treatment (slap gears on it, add goggles) and the result is some horrible crime against nature… a cyborg porcine ornithopter that you ride inside and peer out the portholes… oh it’s so awful I love it. I love that it’s sitting downtown in the ‘nati. The cultures that had to clash to make this exist… there are so many dumb steampunk treatments of unrelated things (star wars, pokemon, my little pony) why not a pig? It’s farmpunk! Where’s Phineas Q. Chicken and Professor Mulebottom?
Steampunk flying pig in Cincinnati
Then there’s the Turbonique Drag Axle. Bolts to your rear diff for an on-call extra 1300 horsepower! Toodle down to the strip under your regular motive power, shift ‘er into neutral, and hit the big red button for Thermolene (tm) powered rocket action! Note that there was not only a rocket nozzle, but also a turbine that drove your rear wheels. These things existed. They DO exist, as in this Galaxie 500 with Turbonique Drag Axle installed, up for auction:
These things were so crazy that in 1966 a VW Beetle with Turbonique installed once walked away from the four-engined Riviera Wagon Master (itself capable of running in the 8’s) like it was out for a Sunday drive.
See the catalog!
Why use a supercharger, which sap power from the belt? Why use a turbocharger, which is powered by the exhaust? No, you need the Turbonique Auxillary Power Supercharger! With a press of a button, the Thermolene (tm) liquid rocket fuel ignites and your rocket-powered turbine supercharger for an extra 400 hp from the flick of a switch!
It’s one of those things I wouldn’t believe if there weren’t so many pictures of them. In the 1960s Turbonique offered micro-rocket turbines that you could bolt on to go karts or boats and get 1980 horsepower for less than $200. Once guys started using two to hit 240 mph and do 5.95 quarter miles the officials started to get concerned….