The Saturday Comics: Flying Saucers

13 Aug

August 13, 2011

Today we’ll take a look at something that combines a quartet of my interests: comic books, toys, flying saucers, and old ads. I have a sampling of ads and articles about do-it-yourself flying saucers and home-made spaceships for you this week.

Exciting! Fun! Low Cost! A great father and son project! And powered by an ordinary vacuum cleaner motor! Sign me up! Never mind that I’ve owned vacuums that have had trouble getting a stubborn piece of lint out from under the bed, I am sure this thing can really lift 200 pounds. Who am I to argue? I am just some guy with logic and a background in engineering.

But I am sure that free inventors calendar is really cool.

Before you say “it’s a Frisbee,” let me explain the principle of differential expansion.

Differential expansion is a phenomenon peculiar to rotors and rotating discs which causes tilt based on the effect of weight or gravity upon the rotating object. It is a natural phenomenon observable in helicopter rotors, steam engines, and Frisbees.

Now you can say “it’s a Frisbee.”This one is a model, and speaking as a man who built a ton of models in his youth, it is a pretty boring model. What is that, three pieces? According to the ad it can be flown with a motor. I doubt that. That is highly unaerodynamic, and it is made of balsa wood. There isn’t enough weight to it. It also “flies extremely well as a glider.” I think it would make a better Frisbee.

But I love the price, 2/6 plus purchase tax. What country uses nomenclature like 2/6 for pricing?

Now this clears things up a bit. the only problem is, the third column starts with “launching is done by your assistant.” Assistant? What is this, the Lockheed Skunk Works? At any rate, a propeller in the front is a better design than a jet in the back. And this one seems like more fun to build since it is mostly homemade. But overall, I really like the article’s lingo. “After Air Trails ran the ‘Saucy Saucer’ flying control line whizzeroo…” All we need is Stan Lee to blurt out “Excelsior!”

Thank you Wham-O! They may call it a “Pluto-Platter” but they don’t pretend it is anything but a 79 cent Frisbee, even if they do pretty it up with the “Scientific airfoil” guff. I love the “Flying Saucer Horseshoe Game.” Two Frisbees and a pair of sticks for $4.98.

Here’s where I’d rather spend my $4.98. And the 10-day free trial? Who needs it? In ten days I’ll already be on Mars.


11 Responses to “The Saturday Comics: Flying Saucers”

  1. Daniel August 13, 2011 at 12:34 am #

    None of those things’ll go ANYWHERE without ” Speed stripes ” or ” Go – Faster ” stripes to make them….. you know, go faster ? 😉


    • bmj2k August 13, 2011 at 1:21 am #

      Or some Homer Simpson speed holes.


      • Daniel August 13, 2011 at 5:31 am #

        D’oh !!

        A lot of those things on the back covers of comic books were unusual. I never did figure out how those X – ray specs were supposed to work, though. ;D


  2. The Hook August 13, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    I could use one of these!


  3. skinner August 13, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    I love that it’s a Jet “Rocket” Space Ship, like only the Rocket part was questionable.

    Great read.


    • bmj2k August 13, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

      Thanks. I also have an ad for a submarine that looks remarkably similar. But if you ask me, a cardboard submarine is just asking for a lawsuit.


      • Daniel August 13, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

        ” We all live in a cardboard submarine, cardboard submarine, cardboard submarine “…..
        The 1st draft of The Beatles’ hit psychedelic animated movie. The submarine came from Habanero – land & was escaping the Cyan – Green Meanies. ;). Then it was given a MASSIVE re – write into ” The Yellow Submarine “. 😀


        • bmj2k August 14, 2011 at 12:16 am #

          I love bootleg Beatles tunes! I think the B-side of Cardboard Submarine was I Want to Hold Your Bus Pass Over The Weekend.


          • Daniel August 14, 2011 at 1:00 am #

            ” I haven’t laughed so hard since Pompeii “, ” A thing of beauty, destroyed forever “. The Blue Meanies’ Flying Glove ws the one thing about that movie that truly freaked me out.

            When I heard that John, Paul, George & Ringo didn’t actually voice their own characters, I was crushed. 😉


            • bmj2k August 14, 2011 at 1:09 am #

              After Mystery Tour I don’t blame them.


              • Daniel August 14, 2011 at 1:35 am #

                ” Yellow Submarine ” was one of my 1st introductions to 60’s counter – culture & psychedelia. My parents actually let me watch it without being afraid that I’d want to be a young flower – child.

                Later on, I watched Ralph Bakshi’s ” Wizards ” without my soul / psyche being warped & / or seriously corrupted, as well.

                I should add ’em to my Netflix queue !!


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