Photographs and articles in popular science publications influenced the Syndicate stories. The Santos-Dumont No. 14bis seems to have made an impression on Stratemeyer, Garis, and their artists.
To the modern reader used to visualizing the frail pioneering aircraft of the Wright brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and others, the Red Cloud from the Tom Swift series seems utterly fantastic — the stuff of science fiction. However, as was often the case, the descriptions were not pure fantasy but rather extensions of concepts and inventions described in magazines and newspapers. […]
Tom Swift invented many remarkable vehicles that carried him and his friends on their adventures. The Red Cloud was used in many of the early stories of the Tom Swift Sr. series.