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GM Futurama Conceptual Rendering


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#1 Doug Seed

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 05:18 PM

This large, beautiful watercolor painting hangs on my livingroom wall, thanks to one of Randy Treadway's postings.

It is one of a series painted by GM artists as conceptuals for the planning of the 1964 Futurama II ride.

Having a painting of freight containers in your livingroom is certainly a conversation starter! Wasn't it nice of the artist to base the colors of the painting on the official WF colors?

I love this Jetson-esque painting! Plus, there's even a photo on http://www.nywf64.com of the final scene that was modeled from the painting!

Note the cool helicopters and the pontoon boat carrying containers.

[attachment=2889:attachment]
[attachment=2890:attachment]

#2 Randy Treadway

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 07:40 PM

Nice living room decor, Doug! (and glad I could help! ) Nobody gets bored coming over to the Seed household for a visit. ("what the heck is that, Doug?")

Looks like you're ready to host meetings of the New Hampshire branch chapter of the Fair Lovers and Fat-Chewers of America Club.

I'm not sure why a concept thinker in the early 60's would think that moving a single container with a helicopter would be cost advantageous. Once you get them offloaded from the ship, it seems that the most cost advantageous of land transport modes is by train, followed by big rig truck. If the helicopter was intended to lift each container off the deck of the ship, that's what the big overhead cranes are for.

The single helicopter that was actually designed and built around this concept was the Sikorsky Skycrane. But instead of a cargo container, it was actually designed to straddle a self-contained MASH medical container. Just drop it wherever you want it, and instant MASH medical setup. (today the army uses inflatable buildngs for their field combat medical units).
Of course the Skycrane helicopters could also dump the Medivac container and lift very heavy loads from a sling. When the Army got rid of them, most went to logging operations because they can move heavy lumber. But they are also used with a big water container underneath (and a suction hose so it can hover over a lake or river and "fill up"), where the MASH container used to be, to drop huge amounts of water on forest fires.

#3 Mike Kraus

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 07:45 PM

Gee, Doug, that baby's worth some dough! In the holy grail area of WF collecting.....
Nice.

#4 Randy Treadway

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 08:11 PM

The most amazing heavy lift helicopter feat I ever saw:
In 1999, a Russian helicopter successfully lifted a 23-ton block of ice, and flew it over 320 kilometers.
For much of the flight the aerodynomic strain on the rotor blades was so great that the blades actually bent upwards. Rotor blades are designed to flex, but this was ridiculous!
A Discovery Channel documentary in 2000 (they paid for the helicopter lift) showed it in flight, and the rotor blades were bent a lot more than this black & white still photo.
Posted Image

What was in the block of ice? A quick-frozen woolly mammoth trapped in the Siberian permafrost. The Discovery Channel-sponsored research team wanted to move it to an underground ice cave where they could slowly defrost it in controlled conditions (a hair dryer) with hopes of extracting some DNA so some day they could "clone" themselves a woolly mammoth by implanting the DNA into an elephant egg. So they had to move the whole block of ice instead of chipping the mammoth out first (and risking rapid uncontrolled tissue decomposition)
Sounds pretty wild, right?
The documentary is available on DVD from Amazon.com.

If somebody had displayed a concept like this at the World's Fair in 1964 (helicopter super heavy lift to facilitate woolly mammoth cloning from DNA), people would have groaned "yeah, right!" Sometimes the future ends up stranger than the predictions...

Here's a color photo of the Mi-26 trying to break loose the ice block and lift it. The ice block's weight turned out to be underestimated- it was 3 tons heavier than the helicopter's "rated" maximum 20-ton lift capability. But don't tell the helicopter that. It did it anyway.
Check out the rotor blade bend:
Posted Image

#5 Ray in Pasadena

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 10:21 PM

Here's a timely article from the UK.

<a href="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2312860,00.html" target="_blank">http://www.timesonli...860,00.html</a>

#6 Randy Treadway

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 10:52 PM

Dateline: Centenary World's Fair 2039, New York City

Sinclair Dinoland, a retro exhibit sponsored by a patroleum industry consortium, opened this week with live cloned dinosaurs in eight different species, each chained to a concrete base, with visitors kept a minimum of 30 feet away for safety sake.
Long lines have queued up each day to view the noon "feeding time", when World's Fair janitorial workers who refuse to join the trade union are served up as "lunch".

Green America, Inc. recently presented an award to the Dinoland design firm of Eatem, Eatem & Burp, for finding a way to recycle the approximate ten tons of dung produced by the clone dinosaurs each day, into material which can be melted down into a waxy/plastic-like substance and used in vending machines which produce molded models of the dinoaurs, for sale to Fair visitors (including janitorial workers who may be "lunch" tomorrow if they don't sign their union card). Thus a completely closed loop recycling system.

A side exhibit at Dinoland explains that scientistics are investigating ways to accelerate decay of cloned dinosaurs once they die, so that they could be turned into oil in weeks instead of millenia. The combination of cloning and accelerated chemical conversion could mean a sustainable, theoretically unlimited supply of oil production from cloned dinosaurs who could be "farmed" for their oil conversion potential. The only limits would be running out of janitorial workers, but scientists believe that term limits on politicians in Washington may serve equally well.

#7 Doug Seed

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 01:18 PM

Thanks, Mike and Randy.

The painting is much beter than the photo shows and the colors are quite vivid.
Looks like it was painted yesterday.

In the background, there's another helicopter.

I've kept it in the original 1960s frame and matting just as it arrived. I'm pretty sure the frame and mat are original.

It's hard to photograph because it's behind "super glare" glass.

I love that I have the companion photo of the actual modeled diarama from Bill's site.

Looks like the model in the photo wasn't actually in the ride, but elsewhere in the exhibit areas.
I imagine that there WAS some representation of the freight-of-the-future somewhere on the ride diarama.
Hopefully we'll spot it someday!

#8 Randy Treadway

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 02:10 PM

Looks like the model in the photo wasn't actually in the ride, but elsewhere in the exhibit areas.


Nywf64.com says this Containerized Freight Terminal Model was in the Avenue of Progress. But the black & white photo definitely says otherwise (the Avenue of Progress had no windows, so we wouldn't be seeing trees through large plate glass in the background). Lower Product Plaza is what it looks like to me. And more specifically, the Electro-Motive area would be my guess. No confirming photos at the present time though.

#9 Randy Treadway

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 09:54 PM

I found some General Motors documentation this evening that confirms that the Containerized Freight Terminal exhibit was in the Lower Product Plaza.

The G.M. booklet that pinpointed the location also included a color photo of the exhibit:
Posted Image

#10 Doug Seed

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 11:32 AM

Oh, Randy... YOU DA MAN!!

Nice find. Everything but the helicopters!

Thank you for posting that for me!
Doug




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