In 1962, Eagle Annual carried an article about the aircraft of the future.
I thought I would take just a quick look with you at what the aviation buffs of that distant time though we were going to see in 2017. This was one of their suggestions:
Strangely reminiscent of a Convair Sea Dart for me. Did the writers know something that the readers didn’t know?
Alternatively, was it the doppelgänger of the Saunders Roe SR53? The rocket powered interceptor of the 1950s that was so unlucky to have been scrapped. It would have been a brilliant aircraft. And why didn’t the Germans buy it?
Here’s one I photographed myself at RAF Cosford, I think:
Here’s another suggestion from Eagle:
Rather like the B-70 Valkyrie, n’est-ce pas?
This is more like a completely fresh thought, not based even subconsciously on anything the writers had ever seen:
Well, perhaps not. This is Fireball XL5 from the Gerry Anderson puppet series of the same name:
The likeliest aircraft to make the cut is this VTOL workhorse. It’s rather like the cultivated well mannered cousin of the Flying Bedstead:
The Flying Bedstead, of course, had no covering of any kind over the structure of the machine:
Although the Short SC1 did, and that took it a huge leap towards the Eagle VTOL aircraft of the future:
To me, it almost looks as if the writers of the Eagle article, perhaps subconsciously, included real aircraft, usually experimental types or prototypes, in their portfolio of supposedly imaginary aeroplanes of the future.
This was the real aircraft of the future when it made its appearance:
23 responses to “Eagle Comic foretells the Aeronautical Future”
They weren’t too far from reality John! My father still has a few worn copies. I read them from time to time – wonderful stuff!
Yes, they were pioneers of their time, with absolutely beautiful artwork.
A great journal nicely remembered
I can still remember looking forward to ‘Eagle’ being delivered every week. I was only allowed one comic so it had to be a wise choice!
Wild imagination and sci-fi predictions seem to eventually become reality, eh John?
Yes they do, although a worrying number of wild imaginings seem to be spreading into politics unfortunately.
I love these drawings and predictions of the future. A glimpse of what could have been
There was always a marked difference in style of the British ‘plane and the American. Personally I preferred the British. And the canard wings in the Eagle drawings were quite a prophetic touch.
(for Paol) They certainly were. So many of those $48 trillion fighter planes make use of the canard nowadays.
(for Tony) Absolutely. It’s always fascinating to speculate what might have been.
The Eagle was always one of my favourites, I have still got an Annual somewhere in the loft space!
Eagle was a wonderful comic. They are easily available on ebay as DVDs. That way you can buy for less than a tenner what would cost you thousands if you bought them separately as real comics.
The similarity is uncanny, maybe we should bring back The Eagle and use the editors to design our new aircraft!
Anything to have aircraft that look different from each other, and even more so for cars!
I, too, am a child of ‘The Eagle’. I used to love the cutaway diagrams of machines which showed their inner workings.
They were always very impressive. I do have the vaguest of feelings that somebody once published a book of them, but it is only a dim memory. (Three minutes later) I found it ! “The Eagle Annual of the Cutaways” by Daniel Tatarsky. As cheap as £2.38 on Amazon. Go on, Chris, treat yourself!
Quite a blast from the past.
Yes, and a comic which did a lot to popularise science fiction as a genre in England. I suspect that a lot of the people who helped make films such as 2001 had been reading Eagle in the early 1950s.
I was a bit young for the classic days of The Eagle and was more of a Gerry Anderson child. I have to admit that The Eagle was a far better forecaster of the future than Anderson.
I would agree with you there. For me the thing that was attractive about Gerry Anderson was the fact that they moved (after a fashion) and were a step forward from pictures in a comic. I used to really like Stingray and then Captain Scarlet when I was a teenager .
In keeping with your RAF theme – his brother trained at Thunderbird Field in the USA before being killed flying in 1944.