Forgotten 1960s 'Thunderbirds' projects brought to life
June 22, 2013 12:06 AM   Subscribe

Forgotten 1960s 'Thunderbirds' projects brought to life. The "Multi-Unit Space Transport and Recovery Device" (MUSTARD), the "Jumping Jeep", and the "Intercity Vertical-Lift Aircraft". "British arms company BAE has recently been through its archives and publicised some of the projects dreamed up in the glory days of the 1960s, when designers' imaginations were allowed to run riot with little consideration of practicality or budget." From The Economist magazine, which has period sketches of the designs.
posted by alasdair (10 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Am I a bad person for wishing this was about recently recovered Lost Episodes of this?
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:53 AM on June 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

I expect their assessment was correct, but I really regret that we don't have VTOL passenger jets.
posted by Segundus at 1:28 AM on June 22, 2013

I have referred to it here before but the British Rail flying saucer design from the 1970s is another fantastic vision of the future from people who grew up watching Quatermass and Dr Who. Sheer lunacy.
posted by longbaugh at 2:54 AM on June 22, 2013

It's certainly no Dora Flugelrad!
posted by longbaugh at 2:57 AM on June 22, 2013

F.A.B. Mr. Tracy!
posted by briank at 6:00 AM on June 22, 2013

Fans seem to really have been in fashion back then.. (neat stuff though!)
posted by Ravneson at 6:06 AM on June 22, 2013

Segundus - we got pretty close. The Fairey Rotodyne had some impressive demo flights. Really loud though, which is a lot of the reason no one bought one.
posted by Popular Ethics at 8:26 AM on June 22, 2013

Of all of those, the one I find I actually like the best and is the most "Thunderbirds"-ish is the VTOL platform for the fighter. The truck is silly, and I've been disappointed by one too many concepts promising space planes (I'm looking at you X-33 and DC-X) to get excited about that.

Sort of relatedish-ly, I see that UFO did a pretty good job of predicting tilt-rotor aircraft, if not cars or fashion.
posted by CosmicRayCharles at 9:33 AM on June 22, 2013

these are all terrible ideas for various reasons, with the exception of the VTOL fighter platform, which is a good idea for the exact opposite reason that the rest of the ideas are terrible.
posted by striatic at 2:55 PM on June 22, 2013

This post about the Aerotrain scratches a similar itch for me. I'm a sucker for never-was technologies.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 3:40 PM on June 22, 2013

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