The Burnelli Web Site
Todays 'new concept' was designed over 60 years ago
Crashes CAN Be Harmless
by George Daniels

June 1941

Mechanix Illustrated, (Pages 56,57,58,59,140,141)

Airplane fatalities must be reduced. Moreover they can be reduced! There is absolutely no sensible reason why all efforts toward this end should be confined solely to preventing the crashes! It is obvious that accidents are still happening. The job now is to make planes withstand them better. It can be done!

Too many people are killed in airplane crashes. It's about time to realize that pilots aren't supermen.

Accidents continue to happen and there's no sense in claiming they can be entirely prevented. The only intelligent thing to do is to build the planes to withstand as violent a smashup as possible.

Six years ago Lou Reichers was flying a big twin engine, fuselage-lift transport invented by V.J. Burnelli, when the ailerons came off over Newark Airport. There wasn't anything wrong with the design of the plane, it was just one of the things that sometimes happens to a test ship. A handful of bolts had been left out of the control hinge brackets during the assembly job. The result was a crash at 2 miles a minute. The big ship hit the ground so hard that one of the engines landed about 200 yards away.

1934--prototype UB=14

It was the thirteenth of January when it happened, and the ground was frozen as hard as a brick, but the wreck plowed a ditch big enough to hide a whale in.

spacer next top home spacer Burnelli UB-14 crash (1935) - QuickTime movie [2.1 MB]