Rotary Aerodrome

This is based on two Meccano Magazine covers, both predicting the future of air travel. The May 1932 cover shows biplanes landing and taking off from the top of a skyscraper with a square chequerboard runway. The February 1937 cover shows a rotating runway sitting atop four towers, a stone’s throw from what looks like the Liver Building in Liverpool.

My model has a single tower, in the style of the Empire State Building Meccano sets, with the rotating runway sitting at the top, supported by a Ball Thrust Bearing. When I built it I’m wasn’t sure what the scale was supposed to be, although I have suggested some windows with fishplates. The accompanying article in the 1937 magazine suggests that the runway could be between 1,500 and 1,800 feet long and 250 to 350 feet wide making the model to roughly a scale of between1:750 and 1:900.

Two biplanes sit on the runway and they would have a wingspan of between 125 and 150 feet.


Nice unusual model. I wonder what happens if you have an engine failure after take off! I like the little planes as well.

Thanks Les.

According to the Meccano Magazine, the idea was proposed by Captain C. Frobisher. Looks like he didn’t consider the drawbacks!

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