Burnelli - Alexander Klemin writes to Security and Exchange Commission

The Burnelli Web Site
Evidence of Suppression and Official denial is overwhelming

 

Alexander Klemin
Professor of Aeronautical Engineering
c/o Daniel Guggenheim School of Aeronautics
University Heights
New York City

C O P Y

June 19, 1940

Mr. Leon Henderson
Securities Exchange Commission
Washington, D. C.

Dear Mr. Henderson:

With reference to our conversation of the 12th, I am setting down my well considered opinion regarding Mr. Burnelli's principles of aircraft design - the result of many years of study and wind tunnel experimentation.

1. The basic idea is that the conventional fuselage shall be eliminated and housing
space shall be provided within a lifting airfoil, while tail surfaces are supported at the end of appropriate booms.

2. From the elimination of the fuselage which is an element of purely parasitical
drag, there follows reduction of aerodynamic resistance. This logical conclusion has been checked again and again in wind tunnel tests made under my direction here, and in other tunnels.

3. From the reduction in aerodynamic drag, there follows improvement in
performance, that is in high speed, climb and fuel consumption for a given weight of the airplane and horse-power. This conclusion has been checked by several performance calculations carried out in classical fashion from the impersonal findings of wind tunnel tests.

4. An approach is made to the aerodynamic ideal of a "flying wing" airplane.

5. All other aerodynamic characteristics of an airplane such as longitudinal,
stability and control, lateral stability and control, remain those of the best modern practice.

6. The special employment of the airfoil in lieu of the conventional fuselage permits
the volume of housing capacity to be largely increased without any sacrifice of aerodynamic efficiency.

7. Increased housing capacity is particularly useful for modern bomber design. The
bomber carries bombs, racks, instruments, accessories, supercharger intercoolers, etc., an enormous and complex installation, which it is very difficult to install efficiently in the conventional fuselage. From this point of view the Burnelli bomber designs which I have had occasion to study offer great advantage in military aircraft design as distinct from the aerodynamic advantages to which I have referred previously. All other military requirements such as vision and range of gun fire are fully retained.

8. The Burnelli bombers definitely add to our air defense possibilities.

9. The ability to increase space for passenger accommodation in the air transport
plane without sacrifice in aerodynamic efficiency is equally important, and makes the Burnelli principle valuable in the design of large passenger transports.

10. For the same reason Burnelli designs are well adapted to serve as troop carriers.

11. From the main principle of design there derive logically and inevitably certain
other important advantages which will be enumerated as briefly as possible:

a. The central portion of the wing or lifting airfoil fuselage carries an appreciable proportion of the total weight of the aircraft, thereby, the stresses at the root of the outer wings are reduced and structural weight is saved - as have both demonstrated by careful analyses submitted to the Civil Aeronautics Authority.

b. The elimination of the structural unit of the fuselage results in further saving of structural weight and with appreciable advantage in manufacturing economy.

c. The streamlined fuselage has difficult compound curves. Its elimination results in simpler and less expensive construction.

d. The substitution of the airfoil for the fuselage --- for the engines of a twin-engined machine in direct access to the crew which is a distinct advantage.

e. Placing of engines ahead of all occupants is a safety measure.

f. Since the useful load, (passengers, installation, etc.) does not have to be spread out along the longitudinal axis of the aircraft; the longitudinal maneuverability is increased.

g. The large undersurface of the central portion of the wing provides excellent housing for the landing gear.

h. The general structural design is such that there is concentration of stress and support points which is as it should be.

12. The general conclusion is inescapable: The Burnelli principles offer an advance in the art, in efficiency and economy.

Sincerely yours,

AK/d s/ Alexander Klemin

 

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