Bennie's Rail Plane

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Bennie's Rail Plane

Postby Seamey » Tue Oct 05, 2004 2:05 pm

I heard some evidence still exists of the railplane on the ground in the shape of some concrete feet in Bearsden.

Anyone know where?
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Postby Sharon » Tue Oct 05, 2004 2:11 pm

I haven't a clue, but I saw footage of it whilst channel hopping the other night.

I was just flicking past channel 4 when I heard the words "Railplane" and "Glasgow" .. . and was delighted to see flickery old footage of the propellor driven beast!

It was never gonna work!

Its quite concievable there would be traces to be found, the thing looked HUGE! Could be worthy of a hunt sometime. I think the website says where it ran...
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Postby dazza » Tue Oct 05, 2004 3:01 pm

Website Here
See if you can work out the location.

Also found this:
"The track was demolished in 1941 to assist in the wartime scrap metal campaign and Bennie died in obscurity in 1954. The Railplane, which lay rusting in a field at Milngavie, was sold for scrap in the 1960s. A model and short film showing the Railplane survive in the Glasgow Transport Museum".
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Postby DMcNay » Tue Oct 05, 2004 3:19 pm

Interesting pics, and if the guy took them in the 1950s then the track must have survived after 1941.

Might be interesting to see if anything survives. I've also heard the rumours about some of the supports being in place.

EDIT: Another wee google search says this was at Burnbrae.
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Postby DMcNay » Tue Oct 05, 2004 3:25 pm

And if all his papers are here then we could always rebuild it!
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Postby Fossil » Tue Oct 05, 2004 3:41 pm

Is the site note facing the McDonalds in Milngavie? :?
Also I think there is a small plaque at said location….

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Postby Speedbird » Tue Oct 05, 2004 4:04 pm

I have been told that it was down near where the Allander Swimming baths are now, so, yeah, in that general area, but a bit further over from Mc D's
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Postby Paper Hankie » Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:11 am

I've seen a photograph which shows the Bennie Railplane running over a railway line.
We used to have an office in a Portakabin next to the railway at Burnbrae and the photograph looks as if it would have been taken around that area.
Possibly where the Glasgow/Milngavie Railway runs between Halley's Garage, Allander Baths, Murray Park and West of Scotland Rugby Club.
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Postby allyharp » Wed Oct 06, 2004 4:39 pm

I'm sure the Kelvin Timber building used to be railway shed so the line would have run directly in front of that, presumeably with the raiplane above it.
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Postby Apollo » Wed Oct 06, 2004 8:52 pm

I can't remember the detail, but might be worth trotting into the wee cinema in the Transport Museum. One of the films they show is Bennie's Railplane in action on the test track with a locomotive below.
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Postby turbozutek » Wed Oct 06, 2004 9:00 pm

Sorry guys, but having looked at the railplane stuff online and having seen the film I can say this:

What a STUPID design.

Ok, sure ... Have a suspended monorail.. Excellent. Make it look like a cigar, ok..

But power it with an expensive aero engine ? and a prop ? A customer chopping, slice and dice prop ?

Nah, silly.

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Postby Sharon » Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:22 pm

In the wee film I saw of it they made much of the guy NOT being an engineer. My, we'd never have guessed. But you gotto admire his ...vision!
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Postby turbozutek » Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:27 pm

Sharon wrote:In the wee film I saw of it they made much of the guy NOT being an engineer. My, we'd never have guessed. But you gotto admire his ...vision!


Someone really should have told him that you can make use of more engine efficeincy by implementing direct traction.

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Postby Apollo » Wed Oct 06, 2004 11:29 pm

Levelling criticisms on Bennie's design in light of today's technology is very unfair, they simply did not have the technology or engineering knowledge to effectively implement, for example, direct drive, in anything like the small size of the railplane, and keep it quiet and smooth.

Conventional engineering thinking of the time thought of design in terms of the steam train seen under the railplane, and the wonder is that he managed to get as far as producing a development model, as he would have to have worked with those who 'knew better'.

While the use of aircraft technology to produce the vehicle was visionary, plus there was little else to choose from then in terms of motive power, there is little doubt the project would have failed, even if it had been able to attract finance, due to the size and complexity of the gantries neede to support the top and bottom monorails. I'm sure some eco-terrorists would have popped up and protested.
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Postby turbozutek » Wed Oct 06, 2004 11:38 pm

Apollo wrote:Levelling criticisms on Bennie's design in light of today's technology is very unfair, they simply did not have the technology or engineering knowledge to effectively implement, for example, direct drive, in anything like the small size of the railplane, and keep it quiet and smooth.


I don't mean direct drive in terms of energy transmission, I mean direct drive in terms of driving the WHEELS - with kenetic force. No point putting a propellor on something that sits on wheels, it's only efficient on a free air device like a plane or a hovercraft. If you have to move something that sits on wheels you do it at the WHEELS.

And they have known that since Jesus left Galston.

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