Saturday, October 8, 2016

Genesis for the New Space Age with John Leith - Chpt II - Early American Development of the Unconventional Aeroplane

As before do read the intro.

In the meantime this tells us a bit must much of it is also suspect.  The idea of producing a wheel and rim based flying craft using conventional aerodynamics happens to be seductive and has attracted many inventors over decades.  The core problem is that you push the stress points far from the rotational center of mass and this quickly overwhelms material strength.  The apparent advantages become a serious problem.

Thus i do presume that this will lead to something neat instead.  We also get a look at how the military conducted business circa 1936.  This coincides with the era in which Tesla had also dropped out of sight.  Combining aeronautics with gravity control with Tesla's work would be a natural marriage as this brings in gifted understanding of control.

Thus two serious tools are under the same umbrella. Tesla had hinted at gravity control and our work has confirmed its existence.  At least i know that this is essentially true.
 No information as to actual design aspects are made in this chapter.  However Caldwell was a real person and did have training in mechanical engineering and did disappear around 1940.  However his son was around and that surely could have clarified all that in 1980.

Chapter II

Early American Development of the Unconventional Aeroplane

The reader already must be asking questions. Why haven't I learned of these cosmic visitations before?
Why doesn't the government explain? Why the suppression of UFO landings? The authors asked the same questions when they began to dig into the mystery three years ago. Today there are many thousands of persons around the world who are engaged in keeping the alien presence and their
unidentified flying objects under censorship wraps.

This unchangeable posture of silence exists in both democratic and totalitarian countries. It began with typical military reasoning that the public should not be informed, if to do so, national sovereignty would be jeopardized. It proceeded with the assumption that the public was not prepared for such astounding revelations, and could not cope with them.

American governmental censorship of UFO information seems to be typical of that in other countries
and extends back nearly 50 years. In the mid 1930's, military secrecy about an unusual American invention in the field of powered flight triggered the first blackout of public knowledge.

It all began in 1935 because of a young aeronautical engineer with a high school education and two years study in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Oregon State College, who later became a World War I flier. His name at that time was Jonathan E. Caldwell and he lived near Glen Burnie, Maryland. He invented and built a tighter than air machine which in addition to conventional nose propulsion, was driven by a nine cylinder, 45 horse power French engine with controlled speed blades, each three feet long by 12 inches wide, mounted on top of midship which enabled the plane to ascend or descend vertically and even hover. The blades were attached to the cardinal points of a 14 foot wooden disk which was free revolving, deriving its momentum from the puwer driven nose prop blast.

The canvas covered, tubular steel plane, christened the "Grey Goose", had been constructed in a tobacco warehouse and then tested on the Maryland farm of Caldwell's friend Lewis Pumpwrey on State Road Number 3, Anne Arunder County. The machine flew fairly well; it was actually the wingless forerunner of today's helicopter.

Not satisfied with his initial achievement, a few months later Caldwell completed a fundamentally different design named the "Rotoplane", similar to an earlier model, the spectacular lifting capability of which had been tested successfully in Denver, Colorado in 1923. Notwithstanding its lifting power, this machine proved to be less maneuverable. Its energy source consisted of six large, pitched, rotor blades encased in a single 12 foot diameter rim or flange, above and in the center of which the operator sat. A news story at the time referred to the contraption as a "flying joke".

But regardless of critics and lampooners, Caldwell was not deterred from his dream of a round wing air machine. He began his final prototype which would indeed prove successful. The latest model was 28 feet in diameter and would disappear before the press or public was allowed to examine it closely, although it had been used openly to provide rides and give demonstrations to interested observers and investors.

The machine resembled a huge tub with a set of six blades projecting out from both the top and bottom of the "tub". In the center of the affair was a round tubular housing or cockpit containing seats for two persons, plus gauges, gears and levers and of course the motor. (The first motor was an eight cylinder Ford V8 gasoline engine with the block cut in half. This motor was considered heavy and troublesome in operation and was later replaced by a newly cast four cylinder lightweight aluminum block, along with aluminum gears which were later substituted with bronze.)

The operator sat in the top of the center tubing or hub with his head and shoulders above for thepurposes of sight navigation. Hands and feet operated with ease the levers and pedals for speed and direction. The bottom set of six lift blades were wide, fixed at a slight angle, and they turned clockwise. They had a controlled speed operated by one of the gears.

The six, maneuverable pitch blades located topside were for lateral direction, projecting from the housing; they turned counterclockwise. In essence, the structure and design of the craft, as well as its mechanical movements and controls, were of utmost simplicity.

The two sets of rotors, set six feet apart, revolved in opposite directions around the ship. They were power driven during ascent but turned freely in pure aerodynamic descent if the motor failed, thus allowing the craft to float down under direction from its chosen height at a slower speed than that of a parachutist. 

[ it is not really that easy as you must have forward motion as well and change pitch quickly. - arclein]

Airborne directional control was attained by changing the angle of the upper set of rotors: that is, forward or reverse thrust was accomplished by a tilting mechanism attached to the top bank of rotors.
Thus slippage took place toward the lower side with advancing blades riding down-grade and retreating blades gaining altitude. According to Caldwell's description it was the same principle which birds used in flight, substituting rotors for feathered wings and tail.

The bottom of the craft could be made water tight, enabling it to take off from land or water. To raise capital for his forthcoming enterprise and float costs, Caldwell attempted unsuccessfully and repeatedly to sell stock in his aviation marvel names "The Rotoplanes Inc.," even offering up to $5.00 for a trial ride in the machine. The stock certificates read in part: "That the stock is for an invention, which invention is used in the development of an aeroplane designed to fly on the bird principle of flight, and that the stock is worth $10.00 to $100.00 per share, depending on his (Caldwell's) success in developing the aeroplane."

Eventually, a curious Army- Air Corps Colonel, Peter B. Watkins, dressed in civies, appeared as a prospective buyer whom the delighted inventor took for a test flight. The Colonel was permitted to take the controls, and was astonished at the craft's advanced maneuverability over the bi-wing and mono- wing airplanes of the 30s.

The Colonel flew the machine 45 miles to Washington, D.C., where he made 100 mile per hour passes over Washington Monument, and the White House. The Colonel was elated when he actually stopped the forward motion of the machine and hovered for a few minutes directly over the 241 foot high  Washington Monument. Upon return to the city he was granted an interview with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

He told the President that Caldwell's mystery plane was so advanced in design that to avoid copy by
foreign military, the United States should immediately obtain control of patents and production. Roosevelt agreed with the Colonel, asking him to reevaluate the project and report back in 30 days for Congressional approval.

Within 30 days, without apparent Congressional approval, Roosevelt acted. Caldwell received a letter
from the Attorney General of Maryland, advising him to cease and desist the sale of the stock in his new company. Previous solicitations to sell stock in New York (1934) and New Jersey (1932) had likewise been stopped by their State Attorney Generals. Caldwell, in effect, was forced out of his new aviation venture before it got off the ground.

In the autumn of 1936, Caldwell disappeared and officially was never heard of again.

The question of whom was Jonathon E. Caldwell and how he could have disappeared so completely from society was a mystery which baffled the author for almost three years. So little information could be unearthed, only scraps of newspaper accounts which had been quickly denied. And then in November of 1978 a break came in the case of the missing inventor, Jonathon E. Caldwell, who had been 37 years of age when last seen or heard publicly. He would be close to 80 years old today. Was he the one to whom we had established a vicarious attachment and to whom we had dedicated this book - before we were certain he existed or was still alive?

The American who was to become the world's greatest genius in the field of aerodynamics, and who
invented the world's first round wing plane which millions of viewers have labelled UFO's, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1899.

His name one day would become greater than the Wright Brothers and the city of St. Louis where he was born would gain an even greater fame in years to come than had been bestowed on the city by Charles Lindberg when he named his historic aeroplane that took him across the Atlantic, The Spirit of St. Louis.

But before Jonathon E. Caldwell was to become pre-occupied with a vision of how man could overcome his own absence of wings, World War I would break out. To Caldwell, the war would be a chance to fly aeroplanes, and 1917 would see him volunteering for the service of the United States Army where his training at Kelly Field, Texas in fixed winged by-planes would be a forerunner for overseas duty in France. Caldwell came out of the service a lieutenant in 1918. He rejoined the Army/Air Corps Reservists in the summer of 1921 and again found himself stationed at Kelly Field with a small group of World War I fliers who had returned for retraining and to brush up on their flying ability.

One day of that 1921 summer at Kelly Field a few young officers including Caldwell took out some saucers and tin plates and began tossing them through the air at each other to be caught during a few
minutes of relaxation and horseplay. It was during this period in young Caldwell's life that he became
enthralled with the idea of developing a completely new design of aircraft. At first he was hardly aware of his own intentions.

From saucers, Caldwell tried paper plates. Whether the object he threw was a saucer, or a paper or tin plate, or even a military wide brim hat, Caldwell made some pertinent observations. Such round objects when thrown and spun into the air or wind, sailed smoothly, travelled faster, and climbed higher than any other form or shape.

Caldwell while in France had learned the hard way about a fixed wing plane. He knew that if the propellor turned at sufficient revolutions per minute and the prop pitch was properly set, the plane could ride along on the air flow induced by the propellor's own current. But if the motor were to fail and the prop ceased to turn, the unbalanced plane would nose dive or spin to earth out of control. Caldwell himself had crashed and though unwounded, knew of several young acquaintances to whom such a tragedy had resulted in death. But young Caldwell realized that what made the fixed wing plane such a fearful conveyance was not primarily the problem of engine failure and resultant prop stoppage which prevented an air craft from planing through the air. Fundamentally, the first requirement of an aeroplane was one of design and the basic design of the present aeroplane must be changed. He reasoned that the hurling of the plates and saucers with only one leading edge to cut the air was the primary requirement for perfect aerial transportation.

Another problem to be overcome was one of balance. He had seen airborn dandelion and milkweed seeds floating along majestically and had observed maple leaves spin to earth in a gyrating fashion as they landed gently on the ground. Added to earlier observations of nature's use of air currents to propel seeds, Caldwell never forgot an experience on the battle field of Flanders, when lying injured on the ground beside his downed plane, he kept his mind occupied by studying an artillary wagon turned on its side, one of the wheels of which periodically kept turning in gusts of wind. Thus, keeping in mind nature's methods of aerial movement along with the Flander's wagon wheel, these observations were added to his own study of the kitchen saucers which he had tossed repeatedly.

That summer of '21 Caldwell decided to build himself a 12" round model of a new aerodynamic structure. He would use a delicate balsam wood frame and cover it with shellacked tissue paper. And the continuous circular edge would be down lipped so that when it was released inverted into the wind, it would ride on its own cushion of air. Thus was bom the idea for the first round wing plane. A simplification of that first model of a new type of aerodynamic structure eventually became the plaything of children allover the world - a frisbee.

As Caldwell watched the frisbee-like object skip and sail through the air, propelled by elastic bands and riding on its own cushion, he was fascinated by the same recurring thoughts. Some day he would try and build a model large enough to hold a man in the exact center point, and if he could install a motor in such an aerial conveyance to give a constant density to the cushion beneath the circular plane, and if that cushion of air could be manually directed, he would overcome all the disadvantages
inherent in a fixed wing plane.

Caldwell kept his vision alive. He retained his balsam prototype and all the drawings and design ideas scribbled or traced on scraps of paper or the backs of envelopes. The idea that he would build a circular plane never left Caldwell's creative brain. Some day he knew he would invent one that could hover, or develop forward thrust and turn and bank far better and faster than the vintage planes of the early 1920's.

As the Reservists packed and left Kelly Field in 1921 to return to their jobs, the young Caldwell was  careful to keep his notes and drawings and to pack along with them his first balsam and tissue paper model. At that time he lived in Denver, Colorado. Sparked by the enthusiasm of fellow pilots at Kelly Field, the young inventor seriously began his first motor operated model of the new round wing plane
design. With the aid of a welder/mechanic friend in the round house of the Rio Grande Southern Locomotive Works in Denver, in 1922, they turned out a 12" model powered by an erector set toy motor and a single cell dry battery used in telephone transmission.

Wires connected from the battery to the model, as well as a three foot rope hitch, provided lift for purposes of studying the operational characteristics of the model. Battery contact was made and the round wing model spun and rose in the air. The attentive trio watched as the rope became taut. As the
amazed Caldwell observed the performance, he and his helpers saw the battery and 52 pound table on which it sat, rise slowly in the air as the model plane ascended vertically and lodged itself and its
suspended contacts against the shop ceiling. Electric current was cut and the heavy table and plane fell to the floor with a bang. Caldwell swore his helpers to silence and took home his 12" model (which today is in the Washington, D.C. U.S. Patent Office).

After the herculean lift by the 12" model, an elated Caldwell immediately began work on a 12 foot model, which truly was the forerunner of the round wing plane of later years. He and his railroad friends completed the project in 1923 and tested their machine in the yards outside the Denver round house. First, about 500 pounds, then a ton of weight and finally 3000 pounds of rails were tied together and attached to the model plane. Those rails were lifted with apparent ease. Then the speed of the revolving  blade was decreased and the rails lowered to the ground from their highest elevation of twelve feet. 

Next the twelve foot model was attached to a mountain locomotive type of the Rio Grande Railroad. As all watched the experiment, they saw the round plane lift into the air as the front end of the big locomotive rose slowly at least three inches from the tracks like a reluctant steed. The yard mechanic
called out, "Oh Lord, what power have we let loose?" But the plane's bottom frame broke and the engine fell down onto the tracks again.

But Caldwell was unable to raise venture capital in Colorado for the new aerodynamic invention and
several years later this failure would result in his going east, first to New York, then New Jersey and finally Maryland where a decade later he would attempt his venture again.

During the 20's, the U.S.A. found its renewed industrial strength. As people like Henry Ford mass produced his Model T automobiles, the growing use of which would eventually link the country with a
system of roads and change the American life style, Jonathon E. Caldwell thought of future highways in the sky.

In the years ahead he flew the early mails in fast, single engine planes and hauled bananas in cumbersome air freighters for the United Fruit Company. The same decade also saw the two and three motored planes make their debuts, and pioneer flier Caldwell could also be found at the controls of such aeroplanes flying geologists into the wilds of Venezuela or Central America, seeking locations for a source of new liquid gold called petroleum. When not on a scheduled flight he loved to rent a plane and barnstorm around the countryside and provide rides in the new aerial wonder that most people had never seen. He also became a test pilot for a large aeroplane manufacturer, now out of business, and worked on and tested Lindberg's Spirit of St. Louis with Lindberg, who later reciprocated by trying out an early prototype of Caldwell's Grey Goose helicopter machine.

Also in the '20's Caldwell worked with Robert Edward Lee Cone of St. Petersburg, Florida, head of the Army/Air Corps. Cone was Billy Mitchell's adjutant, and became one of Caldwell's most important contacts because, several years later, Billy Mitchell would remember about the maverick flyer Caldwell who seriously toyed with a new circular design principle for air travel.

Mitchell would write a letter to the young Caldwell urging him to keep up his research and be careful not to let his project fall into the hands of a foreign government.

After twelve years of earning a living flying aeroplanes (and a stint as a licensed Colorado stock broker located in Denver from 1928 to 1930 during which time he was married), Caldwell decided he must attempt a full scale project. In the year 1933, he had built his last twelve foot model and believed he had taken all the bugs out of the latest design. That summer he returned to Kelly Field for the last time as a Reservist. With him he packed a twelve inch miniature model to show friends. Many Airmen watched Caldwell's round wing model plane perform in a series of maneuvers that got people talking.

Word soon reached high Army/Air Corps echelons.

Plans for what he named a roto plane were later drawn up and perfected in the early thirties, and in 1935 Caldwell incorporated "The Roto Planes Incorporated", listing his new address as Glen Burnie, Maryland and showing his wife, Olive, as secretary-treasurer and brother-in-law Carl H. Davis as vice president. The next year he began his last full size model intended to be used on a commercial basis.

Thus, before 1936, the industrious Caldwell had already built and discarded his Grey Goose plane, the forerunner of today's helicopter. From the Grey Goose idea he had improved the design in a revolutionary concept and by mid 1936 had built his final round wing plane, in which Army/Air Corps Colonel Watkins had taken a ride and tested to his satisfaction.

Then on October 27, 1936, Caldwell received a letter from the Secretary of War. It went: "Pursuant to
our recent conversations ... we feel your invention is too important to fall into enemy hands. The U.S. government, therefore, is offering you $50,000 for patent rights on the Grey Goose and Roto Plane, and is also prepared to allow for future royalty payments.

The Army/Air Corps is also prepared to enlist your services as a full time officer with higher rank than your present captaincy."

The next day Jonathon Caldwell boarded a train for Washington. He sat down in an Arlington, Virginia hotel and discussed his future with Chief of Staff, Army, several aeronautical experts, key Congressmen and members of the cabinet. The delegation reconvened at the White House where Caldwell met President Roosevelt and came away with the rank of Lieut. Colonel and an annual salary of $10,000.

"For the good of the service," Jonathon E. Caldwell that day had to make his most difficult decision for him and his wife. He would surrender his family name Caldwell, and never again be known as such. For all intents and purposes he would disappear from society — till the day he would die.

In August, 1949, long after Caldwell's disappearance, some children ventured through a broken window into a so-called haunted tobacco bam in Maryland (the location of which is now in the city limits of Baltimore) - and later told their parents they had seen a flying saucer. Old F.B.I, files and newspaper stories dated August 21, 1949 filed by United Press and Associated Press appearing in the
Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, etc. told briefly what had been found. The Deputy Sheriff of Anne Arundel County, father of one of the boys, was asked to accompany the boys back to the scene. He confirmed their story, unknowingly having found Caldwell's original Grey Goose and first Rotoplane.
On notifying the Air Force, the bam was placed off limits, and a new generation of Air Force investigators, unaware of Caldwell or his inventions, carted the strange craft off to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, in Dayton, Ohio.

Air Force officers at the Pentagon were red faced when they finally found the files that explained the mystery. For since the day Caldwell vacated his original workshop environment, his inventions had lain forgotten and neglected in the old tobacco bam.

On November 8, 1978, at Kensington, Maryland, an historic book on Caldwell was brought up from the vaults for the researcher to read for two hours. On the leather bound cover, hand printed in gold leaf, was the name Jonathon E. Caldwell, and on the fly leaf inside the 16" X 11" X 6" book, it was written that some of the most valuable records of mankind were preserved herein. The contents were perhaps as important to the U.S. as the Bill of Rights or the early life of President Abraham Lincoln, and to the rest of the world, the knowledge discovered by Caldwell as told by the memos and letters in the leather bound scrapbook would also be a treasure which they some day would share.

As permission was given to peruse the book, before it was returned to its deep underground vault, the rules were explained. Guards would be present, the entire contents could be read and studied, no notes or diagrams were to be made, no pictures taken. Just to see and read the book briefly had required the signatures of the President of the United States, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Commanding General of the U.S. Air Force, the Director of the National Archives, and the Director of the Library of Congress. As the researcher looked at the cover and opened the book, he was filled with awe. For what he saw, was a preglance at history, the full contents of which would not be made available to the public till after the year 2000.

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