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



By: Chalmers H. Goodlin

(article written June 3, 1997 at IAPA's
"First Class" magazine request - article never published.)

1996 was a record year for airline passenger fatalities and hull losses. As is customary, the aviation oligopoly brayed its usual rhetoric about statistics proving that air travel is the safest form of transportation. Such rhetoric is unacceptable. It is not only an insult to the families of air crash victims, but a global disgrace to a 70-year old industry which has no doubt received more taxpayer funding during its existence than any other. A major aircraft manufacturer recently warned that the public must expect future airliner losses "at the rate of one per week". Does this represent progress, as we near the 21st century?

China Airlines MD-11 flips at Hong Kong International 8/22/99

The Burnelli Company, Inc. of Coral Gables, Florida, claims that today's accident and fatality rates have been unnecessary. Furthermore, that billions of taxpayer monies have been wasted on present aircraft technology that has long been obsolete. The company founder, Mr. Vincent Justus Burnelli, invented lifting body aircraft technology in 1921. With its proven superiority of performance, safety and economy in nine different lifting body aircraft before 1947, the lifting body technology supersedes all existing, streamlined fuselage airliners. Tragically, because of political suppression, Burnelli lifting body airliners are not flying today.

Why are almost all crashes blamed on 'pilot error'? The manufacturers, airlines and federal authorities regularly target "pilot error" for a large proportion of the total crashes. This is not correct, as airline pilots are among the most highly trained professionals in any industry. Indeed, they are trained by the manufacturers and the airlines under FAA approved ground and flight training schedules with ongoing refresher courses. Therefore, why, at this late date in air transport history, do we have record air crashes and record hull losses? To paraphrase a recent electioneering slogan: "It's the [airplanes], stupid!"

Airliners today are simply derivatives of early planes, like the Boeing 247 and the Douglas DC-2, which embrace the conventional technology of the late 1920s and the 1930s, i.e. the irresponsible practice of hanging engines and landing gear onto fuel tank supporting structure in combination with excessively high take-off and landing speeds on overstressed tires. Add to these design flaws a fragile fuselage, devoid of crashworthy features, and there is a perfect recipe for fiery disaster.

Fedex MD-11 flips on landing - immediate fire By 1935, the industry and all government agencies were fully aware that these fatal flaws, inherent in the conventional designs, were totally eliminated in the well proven Burnelli lifting body design. Outstanding in payload and performance with low take-off and landing speeds, the Burnelli UB-14, on January 13, 1935, demonstrated to the world its unparalleled structural integrity in a spectacular high-speed crash at Newark, New Jersey. Though it hit the ground at 135 miles per hour and cartwheeled across the field, the fuselage remained intact, no fire ensued and the occupants walked out unscathed [Test Pilot Louis T. Reichers report w/ pictures]. How could this happen? Simply, because the Burnelli fuselage is comprised of the bulk of the aircraft structure which provides a safety cage for the occupants. The engines and landing gear, the major fire sources, are attached to the main structure and isolated from the fuel tanks in the outer wing panels. The engines are mounted close together on the fuselage, eliminating the serious asymmetrical thrust problems, associated with conventional airliners which have engines mounted way outboard of the centerline of thrust. Such major safety advances were recognized by most aviation experts of the period:

In 1936, Dr. Alexander Klemin , Dean of Aeronautics at New York University, stated:

"The advantage of the Burnelli principle of design should prove of even greater value in the 'giant', long-range airplane of the future."

(continued on next page) 


previous next top home