Science: Lily

Small birds can land on floating lily-pads. So could airplanes—if the lily-pads were big and buoyant enough.

The British Admiralty last week described its floating airstrip, called "Lily" for short. Made of closely linked hexagonal buoys 6 ft. across and 30 in. deep, it yields a little to the waves, but is rigid enough to support a plane. Recently a 9,000 Ib. plane landed and took off from a strip 520 ft. long and 60 ft. wide.

Floating airports have been an engineer's dream for years. The sober Lords of the Admiralty claim that the Lily stays fairly flat when jolted by waves...

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