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Todays 'new concept' was designed over 60 years ago


Burnelli's Lifting Bodies
A Photographic Chronology
(Part 1)



Burnelli RB-1
1921 - RB-1
1st Lifting-Body  aircraft ever built
U.S. Patent # 1,758,498
Filed: January 6, 1921
Issued: May 13, 1930



1924 - RB-2
Vincent Justus Burnelli standing in front of the RB-2, the world's largest air freighter at that time -- it was even used as a flying show-room carrying an automobile of the time.
Burnelli RB-2




Burnelli CB-16
1927 - CB-16
America's first executive airliner, built for P.W. Chapman, Chairman of United States Lines.  The all metal CB-16 was the first multi-engine aircraft capable of single engine performance at its design gross weight and the first American twin-engined plane to employ the use of retractable landing gear.




Burnelli GX-3
1929 - GX-3
The Burnelli GX-3 was an experimental aircraft which reduced to practice the use of the breakaway leading edge in combination with high lift trailing edge flaps (derivations of which appear in the most modern airplanes), wend plating of wing-tips to reduce drag (derivations of which appear on many transports but called "winglets") and four-wheel landing gear.



Burnelli UB-20
1930 - UB-20
First American aircraft to
employ the use of flat metal
stressed-skin construction.
In 1934, for promotional purpose, the Sun Oil Company employed the use of the Burnelli UB-20 to carry the Ford automobile shown, to sub-zero temperatures at altitude to prove the effectiveness of their petroleum products under extremely low temperature conditions.  A mechanic descended into the automobile and started the engine at sub-zero temperatures.  This stunt was used in a national advertising campaign for the Sun Oil products. 
What aircraft could do this today?




1934 - UB-14
Vincent Justus Burnelli and Clyde Pangborn standing in front of UB-14 circa 1935. 
It was this plane that dramatically demonstrated the crashworthiness of this
type of design.[video]
Burnelli UB-14




British Burnelli / Cunliffe-Owen Clyde Clipper OA-1
1941 - OA-1
The Cunliffe-Owen Clyde Clipper was built in England under a license from and under the supervision of Vincent Justus Burnelli.  The aircraft was used by General Charles de Gaulle during W.W.II.
1946 - CBY-3
With over 400 sq. ft. of floor area and over 2400 cu. ft. of internal volume, a very versatile aircraft -- seen here on final approach.
Burnelli CBY-3




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