The Burnelli Web Site
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 September / October, 2000


Response to an Engineer (Boeing)

Email series from Mr. C.H. Goodlin

Part 1 of 6

In this part, allegations made by Boeing Engineer (who did protest so much that he didn't speak for Boeing that it irritated a number of list-subscribers) - not necessarily in order of utterance:

  • "We know how to make slow airplanes. You don't need to make the fusilage [sic] into a lifting body to make slow airplanes" [for the purposes of take-off and landing.]
  • "[Conventional] airplanes have more than enough lift!"

Other general statements inferred that the Burnelli lifting body didn't afford any advantages over the conventional aircraft and that the conspiracy was a figment of the imagination of the people at and of Mr. Goodlin's imagination, to whom the email was written.

These are not the only allegations made by this engineer, however, we don't wish to embarrass this man any more than he already has embarrassed himself as it doesn't lead to anything constructive. However, Mr. Goodlin's answers show some facts not previously shown on the aircrash web-site which we thought might be of interest to you.

If you wish to research this more in depth and wish to view the myriad of messages regarding this topic, you can access the vortex archive at:



 ----- Begin Original Message -----
From: Chalmers H. Goodlin
Sent: Monday, July 03, 2000 9:20 PM
Subject: Response to Mr. Lajoie's 6 emails of July 2 & 3




With regard to Mr. Lajoie's six emails on the Burnelli subject of July 2 and July 3, 2000:

It is pointless to dwell on theory when there is a plethora of factual evidence at hand, which proves that the Burnelli configuration totally outclasses the streamlined fuselage designs. For example, let us go back to 1948 when the USAF conducted a flight-test evaluation of the Burnelli CBY-3 at Wright Field. Shortly afterwards the Defense Department ordered a conventional design of similar size to be built in Canada called the AC-1A. Both the Burnelli CBY-3 and the AC-1A were powered by the same engines & both licensed by Canadian Dept. Of Transport. Both were licensed at gross weights of 28,500 lbs. and by using total horsepower value (2,900) as a common denominator and extracting all values from Defense Dept. Flight test reports, it's possible to compare salient efficiency:


CBY-3 (Lifting-Body) v. AC-1A (Conventional)
comparative table


Burnelli CBY-3


Volume per hp - cu.ft.



Floor area per hp -



Useful load per hp - lbs



Cruise speed per hp - knots




We see the Burnelli CBY-3 excels in every respect over the conventional but the Defense Dept. bought the AC-1A. The AC-1A proved to be totally unsatisfactory and by 1960 the U.S. Army was demanding more adequate transportation. In February 1962, the US Army Air Materiel Command issued a scorching report condemning the AC-1A and the suggested replacement, the AC-II. This report caused congress to demand a new competition and that the Burnelli Company be invited to participate. The competition was held and Burnelli entered an upgraded version of the CBY-3 designated the MCBY-100 and powered by the same T-64 engines as the other entries. This competition turned out to be a pure sham affair as the contract was awarded to the manufacturer of the AC-1A in spite of the damning report mentioned above and the superiority of the Burnelli design as follows:


 MCBY-100 (Lifting-Body) v. AC-II (Conventional)
comparative table




Volume per hp - cu.ft.



Floor area per hp - sq. in.



Useful load per hp - lbs



Cruise speed per hp - knots



Take-off distance over 50ft obstacle -- full gross weight

690 ft

1,410 ft

Landing distance over 50ft obstacle -- 34,000 lbs gross weight.

800 ft

1,060 ft


Now, let's jump to 1973 and the Boeing 754 which employed Burnelli technology. Here are the actual Boeing figures comparing the freight carrying capability of the Burnelli-type Boeing 754 with the Boeing 767 : 


Boeing 754 (Lifting-Body) v. Boeing 767 (Conventional)
comparative table











Gal. (US)


















* Boeing 767 cannot carry standard 8x8x20 ft containers.

When the Burnelli Company became aware of the Boeing 754, a letter was written to Boeing pointing out that the B-754 violated the Burnelli patent and intellectual property rights but that the Burnelli Company would be glad to negotiate a license agreement with the Boeing Company. The Boeing Company responded saying that while:

"we have considered such lifting-body aircraft in our studies; however, other designs appear more promising to us at this time. Accordingly, we are not interested in acquiring patent or proprietary rights from the Burnelli Company." (Boeing letter of June 13, 1977 Ref: 6-1101-9-227)
Boeing 754

Nothing further was heard on the B-754 since that time.

The Boeing Company has now again complimented the Burnelli principle of design by proceeding with the Boeing-NASA Blended Wing Body, which is a clear copy of Mr. Burnelli's 1940s technology.

With all respect the above examples clearly point out that the Burnelli configuration offers much greater value per horse-power employed while offering much lower take-off and landing speeds and providing unparalleled safety advantages.

With regard to your inquiry about Northrop's relationship to Burnelli, it is my opinion that Northrop was a "Johnny come lately" in the lifting body / flying-wing field. I refer you to George Larson's (present editor of the Smithsonian Air & Space magazine) article "The Flying Wing" which appeared in Business and Commercial Aviation, March 1985:

Cargolux was planning to purchase the Boeing 754.  The above is a picture from the Cargolux Annual report for 1975.

"Americans, too, were active in tailless design. The first to touch on the concept was Vincent Burnelli, who really aimed at the span-loader idea with a "lifting body" fuselage shaped like an airfoil intended to contribute to lift. (Anyone who has seen an experimental design called the Hyperbipe perform its aerobatics routine in air shows can imagine Burnelli's design without seeing it in a photograph.) And then there was Northrop."

"The Flying Wing," Business & Commercial Aviation,
March 1985, pages 35-39 - quote on page 38.

Strangely, since joining the Smithsonian, Mr. Larson seems to have forgotten what he wrote in 1985.

You must admit that the B-2 is a copy of Burnelli's 1940s technology and not a derivative of Northrop's B-49 technology.

Regarding your questions about the Burnelli Company: this company dates back to 1921 when it was known as the Remington-Burnelli Company and in the interim other Burnelli interests have been merged into it. It owns all patent, proprietary and intellectual property rights relating to Burnelli Lifting-Body principle of design. The Burnelli Company is not listed on the New York Stock Exchange for the simple reason that the Department of Defense notified the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1958 that there was no market for Burnelli airplanes for the following reasons:

  1. "That the Burnelli 'lifting fuselage' design does not offer sufficient new or novel ideas of military value to warrant the construction of experimental or production airplanes.
  2. That the principal aerodynamic benefits claimed by V.J. Burnelli have been achieved on present experimental and production airplanes through the use of properly shaped streamlined bodies upon which low drag rather than high lift has been emphasized.
  3. That the Burnelli emphasis upon the 'lifting fuselage' is not in accordance with best aeronautical practice based upon best aerodynamic information, since such a fuselage has a relatively low critical speed which definitely limits the future development of this type of airplane."

These above-listed asseverations stem from the fraudulent 1941 U.S. Army Air Corps Proceedings of a Board of Review Report which was politically motivated to eliminate Mr. Burnelli and his company from the procurement scene. This behavior on the part of the Department of Defense has been supported by the aircraft industry in general for obvious commercial reasons.

1995 NASA / Boeing Megajet is almost identical copy of 1951 BurnelliAny qualified aeronautical engineer will recognize the glaring contradiction between these three asseverations and the claims made by McDonnell Douglas - now Boeing - with regards to their BWB.

All of the above shows that the Burnelli Company has always had the superior product and that it has been denied its inalienable right to compete in the marketplace by criminal conspiracy on the part of the Department of Defense, industry and others which President Eisenhower referred to as the military-industrial complex.

You are not correct in saying that the aircrash web-site does not duplicate or support Mr. Jones' claims in regard to safety factors, the truth is that the public has been forced to fly in streamlined fuselage airliners, which are fundamentally flawed. What could be more stupid than the common practice of hanging engines and landing-gear on fuel-tank supporting structure in combination with excessively high take-off and landing-speeds on over-stressed tires? The Burnelli configuration does not suffer from these flaws which are inherent in the streamlined fuselage designs.

As you work for Boeing, we assume you are a graduate aeronautical engineer from one of the leading universities, as you like to talk about litigation, you might consider the wisdom of claiming a rebate of your college tuition because your university failed to alert you to the importance of America's greatest aeronautical genius, Vincent Justus Burnelli and the Burnelli Lifting Body principle of design.

I hope you'll take the time to really seriously view the aircrash web-site which contains abundant material of great educational value.

With best regards,

Chalmers H. Goodlin

-----end of message-------