The Burnelli Web Site
Evidence of Suppression and Official 
denial is overwhelming

 

All emphasis below is added

 

November 22, 1994

 

Mr. Frank A. Shrontz
Chairman & C.E.O.
THE BOEING COMPANY
P. O. Box 3707
SEATTLE, WA 98124

Dear Mr. Shrontz,

The deplorable situation at the Smithsonian Institution has compelled me to appeal to you as a member of the Smithsonian Board of Regents. I enclose copies of exchanges of correspondence between the Smithsonian and myself referring to the Smithsonian misinformation about Vincent Justus Burnelli in their AIR & SPACE magazine and the exclusion of Burnelli's important role in America's aeronautical heritage from The Smithsonian Book of Flight.

The Harold E. Morehouse Biography of Vincent Justus Burnelli ends: "Burnelli's noteworthy contributions are legend, and few men indeed equaled his vision and talents in this field. His ideas and efforts seem to have been ahead of their time, but he deserves great credit for his worthy efforts." Burnelli received the 1944 Fawcett Aviation Award "For Major Contribution to the Scientific Advancement of Aviation". There can be no doubt whatsoever that his reduction to practice of the Lifting Body principle of design and the breakaway leading edge in combination with high lift flaps, among other inventions, place him in the genius category.

Boeing's own engineers have shown favor to the Burnelli Lifting Body concept starting in the mid 30's (See attached 'Towards the Ideal'). On October 31, 1963, I had dinner with your Clancy Wilde at the Miami Springs Villas. He told me that his professor at the University of Minnesota taught the class that the Burnelli Lifting Body principle was the epitome of airframe design. Clancy asked me if he could present to Boeing management a Burnelli licensing possibility on his upcoming trip to Seattle.

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I, of course, acquiesced, but, when Clancy returned to Miami 10 days or so later, he told me that Boeing had rejected his suggestion.

The Boeing 754 figures show outstanding payload and internal volume superiority, when the Burnelli configuration is optimized for freight transport. It is most regrettable that Boeing did not take a license from Burnelli and proceed with the 754 project, for it would probably be flying today as the USAF C-17.

The letters from your retired Senior V. P., Kenneth Luplow, to his Cornell classmate, Pete Gifford, and to Geoffrey von Meiss, former Swissair Technical Director, are complimentary to the Burnelli design (copies enclosed).

It is a matter of fact that aircraft, like the F-14, F-15, F-22 and the still classified Mach 6 AURORA all have their origins in the Burnelli fighters which were offered to the Pentagon in the late 40's and early 50's. The Russians have made excellent use of the Burnelli principle in their MIG-29/31/35 and the SU-27/35 series.

In 1983 at Hamburg, Dr. Klug, chief designer at Deutsche Airbus, told me personally that "every aircraft flying today is obsolete, and that the only way to make a meaningful improvement in aircraft safety and economy is the implementation of the lifting body design". In 1990, the USAF announced the NASP: "Lifting Body Design is Key to Single-Stage-to-Orbit". At the 1993 Paris Air Show, Tupolev's chief designer, Yuri V. Vorobjov, stated: "We found the conventional fuselage posed almost insuperable problems, and, when we began to look at a lifting body, we found there were significant advantages. With such an aircraft, we now think we have the optimum configuration." Recently, the Japanese rejected American offerings for their FSX fighter and announced their own design, based upon early Burnelli fighter design principles.

As the father of Lifting Body design, all the above is testimony to Burnelli's visionary brilliance and justifies him being giving a prominent place in all American aeronautical heritage publications. The October-November 1989 AIR & SPACE Burnelli article, "The Burnelli Controversy", is sleaze and denigration. The July 1990 AIR & SPACE article, "Things and Wings", implies that Boeing invented the breakaway leading edge in combination with the high lift trailing edge flaps. In fact, Burnelli invented this principle in 1927 and reduced it to practice

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with his GX-3 in 1929 (see the attached patent No. 1,917,428). Furthermore, the discriminatory exclusion of the name Burnelli from the Smithsonian BOOK OF FLIGHT represents a total breakdown of ethics and morality and signifies the abrogation of the Smithsonian's mandated responsibilities. I hope you will agree that this behavior is unconscionable and deserves urgent, corrective action by the Smithsonian Board of Regents.

Thank you very much.

With best wishes, I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

[signature]

CHALMERS H. GOODLIN
Chairman & President

Enclosures
CHG/av

 

 

E N C L O S U R E S
TO LETTER FROM C. H. GOODLIN TO
MR. F. A. SHRONTZ OF NOVEMBER 22, 1994.
  • 1991 CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN MESSRS. R. M. JOHNSON AND G. C. LARSON
  • "THE FLYING WING" ARTICLE BY G. C. LARSON FROM 1985 'BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL AVIATION'
  • BURNELLI PATENT #1,917,428 - JULY 11, 1933
  • EXTRACT FROM THE BURNELLI UB-14 CRASH REPORT BY PILOT LOUIS T. REICHERS - JANUARY 13, 1935
  • "LIFTING BODY" ARTICLE BY V. J. BURNELLI FROM 'SHELL AVIATION NEWS' - 1952
  • JEAN ALFRED ROCHE - EXTRACT FROM THE 1957 "WHO'S WHO IN WORLD AVIATION"
  • LETTER FROM JEAN ALFRED ROCHE TO C. H. GOODLIN OF JUNE 10, 1965
  • "LIFTING BODY DESIGN IS KEY TO SINGLE-STAGE-TO-ORBIT", AW&ST OCTOBER 8, 1990.
  • KENNETH LUPLOW'S LETTERS TO MESSRS. PETE GIFFORD AND GEOFFREY VON MEISS - 1983
  • EXCHANGE OF CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN C. H. GOODLIN AND THE SMITHSONIAN BOOKS - 1994
  • COLOUR ILLUSTRATION: "MOST AIRCRAFT DEATHS UNNECESSARY" - 1985

     

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