airplanephoto.jpg

In 1942, shortly after Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt committed the U.S. economy to the production of 60,000 warplanes that year, and suggested that as many as 185,000 aircraft might be produced by the end of 1943. He turned out to be almost correct. In June 1944, TIME reported 171,257 aircraft produced since Pearl Harbor. In 1942, however, those were Herculean goals, yet to be achieved, and as part of an effort to help Americans understand the task before them, a fleet of 4,500 model airplanes was suspended from the ceiling of Chicago’s Union Station. Once you absorb the spectacle of 4,500 planes, of course, then comes the whammy: That’s only 1/48th of the production goal. The image above is 600 pixels wide. At that scale, if your monitor’s pitch is 72 dpi, an image of all 185,000 planes would be 33 feet wide. [via NOTCOT]