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There is this crazy picture of a plane or a boat or both...?

Crazy Plane

This is just a drawing, I know, but if this aircraft does not exist, is there perhaps a similar looking one in reality?

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  • $\begingroup$ I believe the golden bar/pillar in the right foreground is a palm tree trunk. $\endgroup$ – Todd Dec 22 '17 at 19:08
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    $\begingroup$ For "existence" and what this means you have to post a question on the stack exchange philosophy site. $\endgroup$ – user7241 Dec 22 '17 at 19:20
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    $\begingroup$ I really like the windows in the wings. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Dec 22 '17 at 19:55
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    $\begingroup$ @TannerSwett It was probably this one en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hughes_H-4_Hercules $\endgroup$ – user7241 Dec 22 '17 at 20:29
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    $\begingroup$ @TannerSwett The Spruce Goose would dispute that claim, and had a total height of 79 feet. The fuselage height on the H-4 was only 30 feet (your 39 foot is total height, probably closer to 18 for the fuselage only). $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Dec 22 '17 at 20:29
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is there perhaps a similar looking one in reality?

Not really, however the fictional five-deck flying boat depicted is clearly an extrapolation of flying boats of the first half of the 20th century.

Visually, the Short Empire class is the most similar:

  • domed cockpit at front of hull
  • hull chines
  • four radial engines mounted in-wing with three-blade propellers
  • conventional empennage

Photo of Short Empire flying-boat
Photo of a Short Empire, Public Domain

Photo of Short Sunderland
Photo of a Short Sunderland, CCASA3.0 Nick.D

The largest all-metal flying boat developed for civilian passenger service was the Saunders-Roe Princess which only had two passenger-decks.

Photo of Saunders-Roe Princess
Photo of a Saunders-Roe Princess, Public Domain

The largest flying boat was probably the Hughes H-4 Hercules, popularly known as the Spruce Goose. It was designed for military transport (hence no windows). I believe it would have accomodated both troops and military vehicles but probably no more than two decks.

Photo of Hughes H-4 Hercules Photo of Hughes H-4 Hercules, Public Domain

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    $\begingroup$ @RalphJ: There you go. Answer edited. I didn't initially include it because I couldn't really find a picture that showed the similarity well and which wouldn't require obtaining copyright permission. Someone will probably suggest Boeing Clipper next and it will end with arguments about Ekranoplan etc. ;-) $\endgroup$ – RedGrittyBrick Dec 22 '17 at 23:53
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    $\begingroup$ That's a nice picture, and I promise I won't suggest going into the Ekranoplan! Dang, but Hughes' plane was a beast! $\endgroup$ – Ralph J Dec 23 '17 at 0:13
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This was part of an ad campaign for Timken Roller Bearings in 1946. It is a drawing by George Shepherd.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I'm disappointed that it does not exist. Thanks for the answer $\endgroup$ – Squareoot Dec 22 '17 at 20:01
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    $\begingroup$ It wouldn't fly from the way it looks. $\endgroup$ – user7241 Dec 22 '17 at 20:31
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    $\begingroup$ It's worth noting that the (magnificent) recent Ghibli animated biopic film The Wind Rises features craft something like this in the dream sequences. (It's a movie about Jiro Horikoshi, the dude who designed the Zero. The film features both absolutely realistic actual aircraft, and in the dream sequences, strange fantasy aircraft.) $\endgroup$ – Fattie Dec 22 '17 at 23:07
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    $\begingroup$ @jjack - Are "would it fly" questions off-topic? $\endgroup$ – Richard Dec 24 '17 at 11:35
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    $\begingroup$ @Fattie If you like The Wind Rises you might also like Porco Roso. $\endgroup$ – Chloe Dec 26 '17 at 4:35
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The only successful plane with inhabited wing might have been the Junkers G.38, (which was explored in Germany by the character in studio Ghibli "the Wind Rises".)

enter image description here

SaRo P.192 "Queen" enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ The holes in the wing for the P.192 are jet engine intakes, no? $\endgroup$ – user7241 Dec 23 '17 at 7:58
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    $\begingroup$ Ah, that's where the engines are. I was wondering. $\endgroup$ – Mr Lister Dec 23 '17 at 11:55
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    $\begingroup$ the second plane looks like a space craft, a war space craft to be honest $\endgroup$ – Nasreddine Galfout Dec 24 '17 at 23:05
  • $\begingroup$ It has a fairly brawny look to it. I myself don't see the spacecraft resemblance though. $\endgroup$ – user7241 Dec 26 '17 at 0:19
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    $\begingroup$ Quite right, as I mention above ... It's worth noting that the (magnificent) recent Ghibli animated biopic film The Wind Rises features craft something like (the OP image) in the dream sequences. (It's a movie about Jiro Horikoshi, the dude who designed the Zero. The film features both absolutely realistic actual aircraft, and in the dream sequences, strange fantasy aircraft.) The sequences involving the Junkers G.38 have perfectly realistic exteriors, and the interior is kind of a larger-then-life dream-fantasy. $\endgroup$ – Fattie Dec 26 '17 at 22:27
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How About the Dornier Do X Dornier Do X on Wikipedia

Dornier DoX with Early Jupiter Engines

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    $\begingroup$ @mins perhaps I am missing something, but this seems like a very decent attempt at an answer. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Dec 24 '17 at 11:34
  • $\begingroup$ It seems to have far less in common with the fictional aircraft in the picture in the question than aircraft shown in earlier answers. $\endgroup$ – Peter Green Dec 25 '17 at 23:29
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    $\begingroup$ This is the most accurate and informative answer here, in the search for the real equivalent of the illustration in question. Good one! $\endgroup$ – Fattie Dec 26 '17 at 22:28
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    $\begingroup$ That thing held the record for twenty years for number of people carried in a plane. $\endgroup$ – Fattie Dec 26 '17 at 22:33
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That 5-decker design is outdone, amongst never-built flying boats, by Norman Bel Geddes' Airliner No. 4 design concept from 1929, with nine decks: enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Ahhh .. Norman Bel Geddes. Brilliant answer! $\endgroup$ – Fattie Dec 26 '17 at 22:30

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