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 September / October, 2000


Response to an Engineer (Boeing)

Email series from Mr. C.H. Goodlin

Part 2 of 6

The very skeptical (Boeing) Engineer, among his many allegations, made a number of insulting remarks without foundation, one of them being that Burnelli himself disparaged his own designs and that the Burnelli CBY-3 flew 'like a pig'.

* Remember:

1) this response was sent in conjunction with the other answers which appear herewith under parts 1 through 6.

2) this response was made by Mr. Goodlin (who is the legendary test-pilot who flew the first rocket-powered flights of the X-1 and flew over 70 different types of aircraft - see his bio.)



---- Begin Original Message
---- From: Chalmers H. Goodlin




Burnelli CBY-3 in flight circa 1947I was appalled at the allegations made regarding the flight characteristics of the Burnelli Lifting-body design. I personally made a number of flights in the Burnelli CBY-3 during the 1950s and I found the flying characteristics to be an absolute joy and far superior to the many contemporary conventional designs that I had previously flown. To illustrate, here is a short segment of an article I wrote for FLIGHT JOURNAL (see and which appeared in the December 1998 edition (page 130):

"It was very stable, and its rugged, compact fuselage of enormous volume gave one the feeling of riding in an armored car; the flight characteristics were a joy. Engine-out asymmetrical thrust problems were virtually nil, and stability was near perfect in all axes. The nose pitched straight forward in a stall, but as soon as the control column was released the airplane would fly again. On a 95-degree day in Miami, with 9,000 pounds overload, the airplane was off the ground in 1,400 feet, climbing out at a fantastic angle. With a similar payload, the C-46 would need a ground run of about 3,000 feet. After putting the CBY-3 through its paces and recognizing its unique safety features, I couldn't help but think: 'Why in blazes have we all been forced to fly in those dangerous conventional planes all these years?!' "

Burnelli CBY-3 on the groundTherefore, the imagined flight characteristics described in Mr. Lajoie's email are entirely false, including the comments disparaging the CBY-3 Loadmaster which Mr. Lajoie alleges were made by Mr. Burnelli. There were certainly no "aerodynamic problems on take-off." To say that "long wings are needed to wrestle that big pig around" is nothing short of libel. The CBY-3 had the best take-off characteristics of any multi-engined airplane I have ever flown.

It must be remembered that the benefits of the Burnelli principle of design progressively increase as airplanes grow larger.

----end message----