Curtiss-Wright Model 2500 Air Car (1959)
“Experimental 2p passenger air-cushion hover-car…C-W experimented in the field of hovercraft with high hopes that the new technology would save their moribund company.”
Akihiko Hirata salutes Eiji Tsuburaya during shooting of Storm Over the Pacific (ハワイ・ミッドウェイ大海空戦 太平洋の嵐, Hawai Middouei daikaikusen: Taiheiyo no arashi) (literally, Hawaii-Midway Battle of the Sea and Sky: Storm in the Pacific Ocean) 1960
They tell a lot of lies about London. Here’s one of them: during the Battle of Britain, with Messerschmitts flattening the capital, those Londoners who were too poor to afford their own shelters were encouraged to take refuge on the platforms of the underground. The faded sepia pictures of families bedding down on the platforms of the Central line are still iconic, another representation of the dogged forbearance for which Londoners are renowned. We live in a city that has withstood two thousand years of invasion, rebellion, fires, plagues, wars ,and terrorist attacks and survived. Londoners knuckle down. We don’t grumble. We get on with things. We keep calm – as that resurrected bit of defunct military propaganda now plastering tote bags, tourist tat and novelty chocolates across the country gamely declares – and we carry on.
In fact, it didn’t happen quite like that. What happened was this: When the Blitz began, government ministers decided to close down the Tube during air raids, except for the use of a few officials. They didn’t want hundreds of thousands of refugees in the subways because they feared, as historian Andrew Martin puts it, that if the working class went underground “they might never come out again.” The shelterers, he notes, were “objects of patrician distaste;” signs were put up outside Tube stops forbidding them to enter. Then, on the 19th of September 1940, the British Communist party, who had campaigned against the ban from the start, launched a series of organized riots. They tore open the tubes and Londoners rushed to occupy the platforms as the bombs screamed overhead. After that, the government had no choice but to support the refugees in order to save face.