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

Obituary

The East Hampton Star, East Hampton, Long Island.
July 2, 1964,


Vincent Justus Burnelli

VINCENT J. BURNELLI

An American Pioneer aircraft designer will be recorded in history for his outstanding contributions to aviation development. This is attested to by the Smithsonian Institute, United States Patent Office, the Early Birds, the Quiet Birdmen, Institute of Aerospace Sciences, etc.  A large number of aviation firsts were designed and built by him, among them the first "lifting fuselage"; the first great American airliner; the first air freighters; the first multi-engine aircraft with retractable landing gear; the first flat-metal stressed-skin construction in American aircraft design; the first reduction to practice of the breakaway leading edge in conjunction with high lift flaps (currently used on most high-speed jet craft).

Vincent Burnelli was to have received the Billy Mitchell bronze medal award on Sunday, June 21st, 1964, from a group of Long Island Early Flyers assembled at the Sea Spray Inn to honor his creative genius. A heart attack on Friday at the Sea Spray, from which he never recovered, prevented his receiving it.

He died fighting for the just rewards due him, but denied by bureaucracy in this "land of the free and the home of the brave." His aircraft proved time and again in official wind tunnel tests and actual flying performance to be far superior in inherent safety features, speed, weight carrying ability. It cut landing speeds in half on less than half the needed length of runaway; BUT, when the booming lend-lease aircraft business came along in the 1937-1939 era, Burnelli was unable to compete with entrenched conventional airframe manufacturers who were quickly subsidized by the Pentagon. Gen. H. H. Arnold, for example, stated; "In my opinion it is essential, in the interests of national defense, that this Burnelli procurement be authorized."

The UB-14's pilot, Lou Reichers wrote in his book "The Flying Years" in 1956: "Vincent Burnelli... still has the most efficient design, but his competitors have all the business."

A major manufacturer's senior executive wrote: "we know Burnelli airplanes are superior and we would love to build them but the Pentagon won't let us, and we can't afford to bite the hand that feeds us."

Aircraft experts predicted that the flying would be reality by 1947, offering greater speed, greater roominess, greater safety. An associate of Mr. Burnelli said: "indeed it should have been, and would have been had it not been for outright dishonesty, conspiracy and restraint of trade deliberately practiced by individuals in the Department of Defense and N.A.C.A."

This, in the "land of the free and home of the brave... With liberty and justice for all."

This brief review is written by a fellow flyer and tribute to a very great American in the hopes that others will realize how bureaucracy has retarded American aviation and flight safety, and will wake up to the menace of growing bureaucracy all along the governmental way.

 

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