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



January 26, 2001

Richard Wood
NASA Langley Research Center
Hampton, VA 23681-2199

Dear Mr. Wood,

Thank you for your letter of January 16th and the enclosed copies of your paper, AIAA 2001-0311 FLYING WINGS/FLYING FUSELAGES.

While it is good to see the recognition of Mr. Burnelli in an AIAA paper, after they repeatedly refused to recognize him, it is regrettable that he was mentioned as simply another designer in the field of many. In fact, the aeronautical genius of Mr. Burnelli places him head and shoulders above all the rest. After all, he was the first to require the cabin / cargo compartment of an aircraft to contribute significantly to lift. He reduced this to practice with the Burnelli RB-1 in 1921 and received a patent for this principle of design in 1930!

Mr. Burnelli had to wait nine years for the Patent Office to issue him a patent (1,758,498) for this invention. One must assume the Patent Office wished to ensure the patent did not infringe on anyone else's existing rights. Clearly, no one else was found to pre-date Mr. Burnelli's conception and reduction to practice of this principle of design.

In short, Mr. Burnelli combined the most efficient structure with the most efficient aerodynamics. To illustrate this, in the mid-1930s, Dr. Alexander Klemin, the Dean of Aeronautics at the Guggenheim School of Aeronautics, New York University, designated Mr. Burnelli's concept as "The Burnelli Principle of Design". In 1939, Dr. Klemin, with a group of outstanding pilots and wind tunnel engineers from both NYU and NACA, signed the following statement:

"We regard the Burnelli principle of design as a valuable and fundamental contribution to the art of aviation. Its application provides larger accommodations, more comfort and greater pleasure in faster air travel. The disposition of the power plants, logically inherent in the design, enhances safety and reliability far beyond conventional practice. The perseverance shown in its successful development is the best in American tradition."

The Burnelli Principle of design is, without a doubt, the ultimate configuration for the safest and the most economical air transportation vehicle. The proof is in the planes built by Mr. Burnelli and their performance. This is further confirmed by the NASA/Boeing BWB which, along with many others, embraces Mr.Burnelli's 1940s technology.

With regards to safety, on September 19, 1939, General H. H. Arnold, the Chief of the U.S. Air Forces, highly recommended Burnelli planes to the Secretary of War and, regarding safety, stated:

"The [Burnelli] design embodies extremely good factors of safety -- considerably higher than the streamlined fuselage type." General Arnold ended his report thusly: "In my opinion, it is essential, in the interest of national defense, that this procurement be authorized."

Have any of the other designs mentioned in your paper received such high praise?

The Northrop/Grumman B-2 is not a derivative of Northrop's B-35/49 technology but a poor copy of Burnelli's 1940s technology right down to the 1945 engine installation - U.S. Patent 2,586,299. The same applies to the NASA/Boeing BWB. From your original email to, I have no doubt that you have imagined the cost of this re-creation - 50 years after Burnelli originated the design!

With regards to the pictures found in your paper, I take exception to the implication that the 9a picture of the UB-14 was inspired by Northrop's first plane (9b). Northrop's first plane (1929) was undoubtedly inspired by the Burnelli CB-16 of 1927. The implication of the 9a picture of the UB-14 is also contradictory with figure 11 of the same paper, which correctly shows the relationship between Burnelli and Northrop, the latter being the beneficiary of the former and not the other way around.

When all is said and done in the Flying Wing/Lifting Fuselage field, Mr. Burnelli was the unique pioneer. I draw your attention to AIAA 98-0760 (1998) (copy enclosed), which states:

"The lifting-body airplane concept, pioneered by Vincent Burnelli in the early 1920s, seems to fascinate every generation of airplane designers".

This confirms the truth of the matter and reinforces the fact that your paper, presented at AIAA, Reno, on January 8-11, is an attempt by NASA and AIAA to muddy the waters and to demean the stature of Mr. Burnelli.

With the above in mind, the distinction made between a Lifting Body and a Lifting Fuselage, when they are actually synonyms, is absurd. After all, the body of an aircraft and the fuselage of an aircraft represent the identical element where pilots, passengers and/or cargo are located. Furthermore, Mr. Burnelli was the first to make use of the aircraft's body/fuselage for lift, and these words have described his aircraft since their inception.

Remember, it was at NYU where Burnelli wind tunnel models were actually tested without wings to determine the lift/drag ratios on the body/fuselage alone. Surely, the NASA Eggers experiments in the 1950s were simply an extension, or re-creation, of the much earlier Burnelli examinations at NYU. After all, the full documentation of the NYU and NACA wind-tunnel tests is housed at Langley, a NASA facility. If it were now claimed that the wind-tunnel reports were unknown, wouldn't this impute a level of incompetence at NASA and contradict NASA's touted image of cutting-edge efficiency and intelligence? I'm sure that, by now, you understand that criminal politics have been the motivating factor in preventing Mr. Burnelli and his company from building Burnelli aircraft and the flying public from benefiting from superior Burnelli technology.

From what transpired over the past two years, it appears to me NASA and/or AIAA leadership shifted the focus of your paper from a technical one to a watered-down historical overview, thereby forcing an apparently honest engineer to write an out of perspective paper. Eliminated from it were the enormous advantages of the Burnelli Lifting-Body principle of design. Showing aircraft designs with misleading picture captions, many of them derivatives of Vincent Burnelli's original 1940s design technology without attribution, serves only to obscure the truth.

The B-2 and the BWB are perfect examples of just how the Pentagon and NASA fund industry to steal Burnelli patent, proprietary and intellectual property rights. This theft is, of course, but a small part of the numerous crimes perpetrated by these people / organizations. This doesn't take into account the tens of thousands of people who have suffered or died from inferior conventional aircraft design technology, the thousands of airmen who died in miscellaneous wars over the last six decades and the billions (trillions?) of dollars wasted on obsolete technology during the same period.

By now, you must realize the truly subtle way in which the politicized (not to say, corrupt) NASA (NACA beforehand) leadership has played a despicable, major role in the Burnelli conspiracy over the past six decades. Most NASA employees have been manipulated and forced to become unwitting or, at least, unwilling collaborators in the practice of ignoring truth and the defrauding of the American people and the flying public of enormous public funds and precious lives.

I am truly sorry that you were influenced to do a political story rather than a truly scientific paper. I can well imagine that the political story must be far less interesting for you to do than a well-researched scientific one. Nevertheless, I must thank you for having, for the first time in NASA history, recognized in writing, albeit in a reduced measure, Mr. Burnelli and his design principle. It is a small step, but each step counts.

I hope you will be permitted to continue your Burnelli investigation, and that you will always remember Igor Sikorsky's words, "In Science, truth is not optional."

With best wishes,





Chalmers H. Goodlin
Chairman & CEO