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Thread: communicating in a 1920s-1930s plane

  1. #1
    Mr. Boo is watching you. rosehips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Mt. Shasta, CA

    communicating in a 1920s-1930s plane

    Hi all,
    I'm writing a decopunk fantasy novel and I'm basing a plane in it on the SEV-3, mainly because it looks cool. I am ignorant of how these planes work, but luckily, I've been able to read a bit about them online. I do have a question I can't seem to find an answer for, however. The SEV-3 has two tandem cockpits, one forward one for the pilot and one behind for two passengers. Can the pilot communicate with the passengers while they are in the air? If so, how?

    If not, what could I alter in the design to allow for communication? This is a fantasy novel, after all, so there's leeway.

    Thanks in advance for any answers!

  2. #2
    Arranger Of Disorder WriteKnight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    30,000 light years from Galactic Central Point.
    Don't know the specifics of that particular aircraft - but typically pilot and other aircrew of that era communicated over an intercom system. Basically a 'telephone' connection wired between cockpits. Might have headphones and hand mics, might have 'speakers' too.

  3. #3
    Superkitty SuperModerator alleycat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    You might want to check out North to the Orient by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. They used a similar plane.

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    You can go either way depending on the needs of the story.

    If you want them to be able to communicate have the pilot have a radio headset with a switch for internal intercom. Then either have the passengers also wear headsets or have an intercom built into the bulkhead. The pilot would control the intercom by selecting either the radio, to call outside the plane, or intercom for internal communication. If the setting is "radio" the passengers wouldn't be able to broadcast or contact the pilot until and unless he switches the setting back to "intercom."

    They may also have a simple, non powered, speaking tube system. That would be a bit primitive for the time, but is a possibility.

    Btw, none of this is specific to the particular plane you mentioned. It's just based on the tech available at the time and general knowledge.

  5. #5
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Out side the beltway...
    The passengers also wore head sets so they could communicate with the pilot. The rear seats were not side by side but one behind the other. There is a bulkhead between the pilot and the passenger compartment. Entry to the passenger compartment was via the canopy, just like the pilot.
    Knowledge is learned while wisdom is earned.

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