The 1930s and ’40s were the age of the flying boat, when glorious old aircraft such as the Pan Am Clipper carried glamorous travelers all over the world—using the oceans as their airports. Flying boats are also a big part of the Johnny Graphic Adventures, flying Johnny and his friends across continents and oceans.
Might flying boats be in for a big revival? According to a recent article in the Daily Mail, British engineers and scientists are studying the possibilities for giant flying boats in the future of air travel. Considering the burgeoning demand for air routes around the world, they believe it makes sense to use bodies of water near transport hubs in lieu of new airports, which are fantastically expensive to build.
Unlike the Boeing flying boat seen here, the flying boat design they advocate is a huge mono-hull airframe—a kind of a flying wing with a hull-shaped bottom. (FYI, the Boeing 314 Clipper was the inspiration for the Como Eagle in which Johnny flies in Johnny Graphic and the Etheric Bomb.)
Is it likely to happen? Not any time soon. But if the world’s appetite for air travel keeps growing at the present rate, the flying boat might just be the answer.