What the Experts Have Said
1936--DR. M. WATTER
(Dr. Watter was a prominent Latvian-American aeronautical scientist during the
1930's. [more]) :
"In conclusion, it can be definitely stated that
for the same aerodynamic efficiency, the Burnelli type of design results
in considerable saving of weight & for equal weight gives higher aerodynamic
1936--DR. G. V. LACHMANN,
F.R.Ae.S., before the Royal Aeronautical Society, October 8th, 1936:--
". . . the final logical result of the tendency to suppress all components which do
not contribute useful lift is the 'Flying Wing' with engines, passengers or military load housed
1936--Dr.-Ing. ROLAND EISENLOHR,
in 'Aerodynamics and Aeroplane Design':--
"Burnelli has made a great
step forward towards the 'Flying Wing,' which is the ideal."
1936--MESSRS. BALL, MINSHALL AND LAUDAN,
technical chiefs of the Boeing Aircraft Company, at the Aircraft Production meeting of the
Society of Automotive Engineers, Los Angeles:--
"Fuselages of the present type would disappear and all equipment and load would be housed within
the centre section of the wing."
1939--DR. ALEXANDER KLEMIN et al.
statement was written & signed by Dr. Alexander Klemin & a
group of early outstanding pilots and wind-tunnel personnel from
N.Y.U. & N.A.C.A. [more
"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 plant, logically inherent in the design, enhances safety and
reliability far beyond conventional practice. The perseverance
shown in its successful development is of the best in American
1939--GENERAL H. H. ARNOLD
(General H.H. Arnold was Chief of
the U. S. Army Air Corps before and during World War II [more]) in a
letter to the Secretary of War:
"In my opinion it is essential, in the interest of the national
defense, that this (Burnelli) procurement be authorized."
1940--DR. ALEXANDER KLEMIN
Dr. Klemin was praised and quoted in connection with Burnelli in Congress [PDF - 800K] and as one of the top men in his field (aerodynamics)
In a statement filed with the Securities Exchange Commission he stated:
"The advantage of the Burnelli principle of design should prove of even greater value in the
'giant' long-range airplane of the future."
1943--DR. MAX MUNK
(Dr. Munk was a premier Aero-dynamicist during the 1920's, 30's, 40's
The superior performance of the
Burnelli plane is not in any way obtained by sacrificing a low
landing speed. On the contrary, the Burnelli plane has a lower
wing loading and in consequence will definitely land much slower
than the conventional plane. It is doubtful whether the high
landing speed of the conventional plane will make it suitable for
1947--GEORGE H. TRYON, III,
Secretary of the National Fire Protection Association, in the Quarterly of the National Fire
Protection Association (Vol 40, No. 4) of April 1947 on page 264 states:
"Moving the landing gear inboard and strengthening the fuselage to absorb the shock of landing
would eliminate applying stress to the fuel tank supporting structure. This revision of the
commonplace has been accomplished in the Burnelli "lifting wing" design. Another feature of this
latter type aircraft is the shifting of fuel tanks so that they are not in direct line with the
power plants and their exhaust outlets."
President of ALPA (Air Line Pilots Association) told congress:
"The current trend to higher wing
loadings constitutes a hazard to safe flying. The airlines are
looking to Rube Goldberg devices and excessive braking action in
an effort to bridge the gap between the inadequacy of our airports
and the hot performance characteristics of the planes."
"Lofting of the Burnelli configuration can be accomplished at 1/3 of
the cost for a conventional configuration. Capital Equipment needs are half those necessary for
a conventional airplane. Man-hour requirements are less than half of requirements
for a conventional structure."
1956--COL. LOU REICHERS,
Transatlantic pilot during 1920's,
Chief of the Engineering Division, Military Air Transport Command:
"Lift versus drag & pounds
per square foot of lifting area was Burnelli's life. Today he
still has the most efficient design but his competitors have all
the business. "
1961--Airline Pilots Association, :
in the name of Theo. G. Linnert, Head of the Engineering & Air Safety Dept., in a letter to the
"This Association conducts
evaluations of new airline aircraft & in this regard, we have
had the opportunity of doing some design & flight evaluation
of an airplane which approaches the flying wing design concept. We
refer to the Burnelli transport. We were favorably impressed with
its design features, which permit slow flight with high gross
weight, considering the low HP. The design of the airplane also
permits considerable inflight inspection of the control system,
power plants & landing gear. The advantage of this is obvious
from the safety standpoint.
Knowing that your Bureau is working on many projects relating to increasing
the safety & efficiency of aircraft, we respectfully request that the
FAA include some studies for aircraft design which would embody low take-off
& landing speeds & still permit economical operation. We believe
the Burnelli type design has these features & an up-dated version of
the airplane should be considered."
1962--ALBERT E. BLOMQUIST
(Outstanding American transportation
engineer from 1930's, Col., U. S. Army Air Corps Research and Development
"I have had, as an aeronautical
& transportation engineer working for & with scheduled
airlines in all parts of the world, many occasions to study the
performance of the Burnelli aircraft built for use by Central
America by TACA. This aircraft was outstanding in its lifting
efficiency & in fact surpassed anything available today.
During WWII, I participated in the development of a military cargo
& troop glider, the CG-16, for the Air Force. This glider used
a lifting fuselage & provided 10,000 Ibs. of payload capacity
& capability of high speed tow, by fighters, & short field
landing. This glider was more than twice as efficient than any
other glider produced."
1964--PROF. FREDERICK K. TEICHMANN,
(Frederick Teichmann was Assistant Dean of Aeronautics & Chairman of
New York University [more]):
"It is to the credit of Mr. Burnelli that his
conception of a flying wing has such great flexibility & that it is
(Chief of Airplane Design at U.S. Army Air Corps / USAF Materiel Division, 1917 to retirement
(1960) & Technical Advisor to N.A.C.A., Langley Field.[more] in a letter to Chalmers H. Goodlin wrote:
"The superiority and the necessity for lifting bodies is now
generally recognized by the American Air Force, its contractors, and NASA. ...
In modern aircraft design, of all but the smallest size, the game is to
minimize all dimensions and to make all exposed surface pay for its skin friction by providing
lift.. Of course, there are huge side benefits if this lifting surface can be combined with
slipstream as in the Burnelli design.
Burnelli was first to recognize and apply the above principles, and everybody is now sorry they
did not think of them first. He was ahead of his time by more than the legal life of his patents,
and now those who did not think, persist in justifying their backwardness by offering the DC-3 as
the best airplane we ever had and, therefore, Burnelli was wrong Q.E.D."
(Dean of American radio commentators from 1930's through 1960's.) in a letter to Felicity
Burnelli (Vincent Burnelli's sister):
"Vincent was a
brilliant & remarkable man whose genius was never fully recognized
by most of his contemporaries. I remember talking with General Arnold about Vince, when we were flying across the Pacific,
coming home from Guam, Okinawa & Iwo Jima. He said that your
brother was so brilliant that he rather frightened many in the
aviation world with whom he came in contact. He was just too far
ahead of them."
1980--DR. EDMUND CANTILLI
(Professor of Transportation & Safety Engineering at Polytechnic University, New York & Executive Director
of the nonprofit Institute for Safety in Transportation.) stated:
"The use of Burnelli airliners
would reduce air crash fatalities by 85%"