William Horton

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bmcj

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FlyingWings_AilesVolantes_Nurfluegel_AlaVolante_KN_Pic_Horton_Swoopy.jpg

The 'low-aspect' thread prompted me to look up William Horton's Swoopy. In doing so, I discovered two opposing views about Horton. I'm not quite sure which to believe... whether one is totally correct and the other blatantly wrong, or both are a partially right and partially wrong.

It seems that Horton either designed William's miracle plane, or he was Willie the flim-flam man. I'll present both sides and let you decide for yourselves or add more to the details.

I must say though, that if Howard Hughes really wanted the design and cheated Horton out of the design rights, why did we not see a Hughes-produced low-aspect ration design? After all, Hughes was a mover, so if he wanted it, he would have built it.


THE HUGHES/SEC SIDE:

http://www.sec.gov/news/digest/1957/dig103157.pdf

SEC Horton.jpg

SEC NEWS DIGEST said:
HORTON AIRCRAFT STOCK OFFERING SUSPENDED

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the issuance of a "stop order" decision suspending the effectiveness of two registration statements filed by Horton Aircraft Corporation, of Las Vegas, Nevada, because of false and misleading representations contained in the registration statements, which proposed the public offering of 500,000 and 100,000 shares, respectively, of Horton Aircraft stock.

Horton Aircraft was organized in 1952 for the purpose of engaging in the business of manufacturing and selling a so-called "Horton Wingless Airplane." Its only asset was said to be a patent issued to William E. Horton, its president, with respect to the wingless plane and assigned by him to the company. Horton had agreed to assign the patent rights to the company for 500,000 shares of its stock, and to build and sell a model of the plane to the company for an additional 200,000 shares. The company's entire personnel consisted of three directors, including Horton; and it had more than 800 stockholders. The first registration statement filed April 26, 1955, proposed the public offering of 400,000 shares by the company and 100,000 shares held by Horton, at $1 per share or the market price, whichever was higher. The second, filed October 18, 1956, proposed the public offering of 100,000 shares held by Horton at $25 per share.

According to the Commission's decision, Horton "had no patent rights or patent he could validly assign" to the company and it was at least doubtful whether he could legally sell a model of the wingless plane to the company because of a June, 1954 court decision upholding the validity of an earlier assignment to another company of Horton's interest in his "invention" of the wingless plane. Furthermore, the Commission ruled that false and misleading statements were made in the registration statement with respect to the nature and performance of the wingless plane. The plane was represented as having no wings and it was stated that a model constructed by Horton in 1954 had been test-flown continuously and its performance had equalled Horton's expectations.

The Commission found that the wingless plane in fact had wings which extended about 8 feet from the fuselage and had a depth of 5 to 6 feet, and that these wings, although retractable had never been retracted in flight. "The registration statements should have disclosed," the Commission stated, "that the Horton plane, which was remodelled from a standard airplane, has in general performed in a manner inferior to that of a conventional plane Horton has used as a basis for comparison, that his plane admittedly was not built to fly any distance and the test flights were short, the longest flight being about 150 miles, that the maximum speed of the plane was about one-half that of another plane using the same motors, and that it had never been tested for range or load-carrying capacity. The second registration statement should have further disclosed that the prototype has not been test flown since it crashed in landing in June. 1955.

"Moreover, the statement that the plane's performance has equalled Horton's expectations is misleading in view of statements made in brochures and form letters which Horton caused to be prepared and circulated by registrant in connection with previous sales of unregistered stock. Those statements, which were false and misleading, were to the effect that Horton's development of the Horton Wingless Plane is comparable to the achievements of the Wright brothers, Leonardo da Vinci, Sikorsky, Billy Mitchell, and Charles Lindbergh; that his plane is one of the greatest aeronautical engineering achievements of all ages and the greatest advance in aviation since the advent of flying; that it can carry 100% greater payload over 100% greater range and is faster and easier to control than any other plane, and can carry twice the load at half the cost of any other plane; and that the Horton Wingless Jumbo Transport plane will carry 4,000 persons a distance of 25,000 miles non-stop, at 60,000 feet altitude, at speeds of over 400 miles per hour."

The Commission also found false and misleading the disclosures in the registration statements with respect to past stock sales without prior registration, the selling costs of the proposed offerings, and the proposed use of the proceeds of the financing, as well as the implications that the $25 per share price of the second offering was based upon and related to some reasonable valuation of the stock.

Horton Aircraft and Horton were permanently enjoined by the United States District Court in Los Angeles in September, 1954 from making false and misleading statements in the sale of Horton Aircraft stock. Horton was convicted on March 8, 1957, of fraud in the sale of Horton Aircraft stock and sentenced to 3 years' imprisonment followed by 5 years' probation.

THE HORTON SIDE:



YOU DECIDE



 
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Manticore

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Claims of 100% improvement in anything to do with aviation should ring warning bells (normally accompanied by claims of 500 mph and 100 mpg).
 

Johngmay

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Hello, well to answer your question my Grandfather was a little of both. Genius even though only finished 7th grade, but very greedy. He wanted everything that he thought up to be his own. Howard Hughes was a very powerful man and he destroyed my grandfather. I have the original plans, pictures and film that they did back in the 50's. I used to ask my grandmother about this subjet all the time, and she verified that grandpa did build that plane himself. That he did know Howard. My Mother was actually thinking about writing a book about all this, She has all the info. Thanks1
 

skier

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Hello, well to answer your question my Grandfather was a little of both. Genius even though only finished 7th grade, but very greedy. He wanted everything that he thought up to be his own. Howard Hughes was a very powerful man and he destroyed my grandfather. I have the original plans, pictures and film that they did back in the 50's. I used to ask my grandmother about this subjet all the time, and she verified that grandpa did build that plane himself. That he did know Howard. My Mother was actually thinking about writing a book about all this, She has all the info. Thanks1
I'd be interested to hear more about the plane. What other information do you have on it. Pretty cool to have a relative of William Horton on here.
 

Autodidact

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Hello, well to answer your question my Grandfather was a little of both. Genius even though only finished 7th grade, but very greedy. He wanted everything that he thought up to be his own. Howard Hughes was a very powerful man and he destroyed my grandfather. I have the original plans, pictures and film that they did back in the 50's. I used to ask my grandmother about this subjet all the time, and she verified that grandpa did build that plane himself. That he did know Howard. My Mother was actually thinking about writing a book about all this, She has all the info. Thanks1
The book would be a great thing. Books are one of the great joys of life. And if it's a book about mechanical things then it's sort of a win win deal in that its about people and machines - doubly interesting!
 

dchristopher

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Dear John,

I knew your Grandfather Bill Horton and I worked on his book for over three years. I also met your Aunt in Morro Bay. Your Grandfather was an amazing man who had
talent oozing from his fingertips. He had inner demons. All he ever wanted was for you and the other kids to be proud of his efforts. I know because I taped him endlessly.
He carried a sadness that came from being misunderstood. I also had the occasion to meet with a radio jockey who flew in your Granddad's plane from Corona Del Mar.
You should be very proud. You had a "Tucker' as your Grandfather. It was my honor to know him. Diana Christopher, Zero Point Films.
 

AIRHOG

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I WAS ALSO WAS a ACQUAINTS OF BILL HORTON AND HIS GOOD FRIEND WRONG WAY RUCKTOR. In Las Vegas NV in the 80s in Henderson sky harbor airport.I worked there for Arby Alper owner and Pioneer of aviation.He invented the flying wing (stealth) concept airplane.I talked with him by the hour.The story I got was Northrop wanted the design,and Bill said(not Me) Bill said they tried to steal it so he set it on fire and they put him in prison:depressed for A short time.All he really wanted to do was Build A personnel transportation plane for the public.
 

cheapracer

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An explanation of such a range with such an aspect ratio would be interesting.
I was reading somewhere recently that once the aspect ratio gets to a certain (low) ratio, that the efficiency then starts to improve again rapidly.

I'll try and find it later.

By the way, just watched this all again and the claim of it "not flying", which obviously it did, refers to it not flying with the stub wings retracted as per the patent claim, i.e. "Wingless".
 

BoKu

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I was reading somewhere recently that once the aspect ratio gets to a certain (low) ratio, that the efficiency then starts to improve again rapidly...
I was reading somewhere recently about a 200 MPG carburetor that had been suppressed by Big Oil... ;)
 

Norman

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I was reading somewhere recently that once the aspect ratio gets to a certain (low) ratio, that the efficiency then starts to improve again rapidly.
When the aspect ratio is less than 1.5 you get into vortex lift which can increase CLmax by up to 80% but more lift does not equate with higher efficiency. In fact the induced drag is huge and the lift to drag ratio of extremely low AR at normal wing loading is similar to a pizza box with a thick crust pizza, with extra toppings, in it. Now if you also keep the wing loading low enough that the Cl is below 0.2 (the pizza box is empty) the glide isn't so bad but when you pull the nose up it's like putting the pizza back in
 

bmcj

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I was reading somewhere recently about a 200 MPG carburetor that had been suppressed by Big Oil... ;)
Flavio Madariaga (half the namesake of Flabob Airport) had a dual-carbed car with dual tanks that allowed him to switch over to lower grade gas when the hi-grade was not needed. I think he believed that Big Oil was trying to supress his carb.

Tongue-in-cheek aside, even if Big Oil were inclined to supress a high milage carb, there comes a break even point at which higher milage encourages more driving (and fuel sales) while reducing the incentive to develop alternate fuels.
 

BJC

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... the lift to drag ratio of extremely low AR at normal wing loading is similar to a pizza box with a thick crust pizza, ...
Well sure, that's obvious, but what if the crust is in the more optimal range of, say, 12% thickness?


BJC
 

cheapracer

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When the aspect ratio is less than 1.5 you get into vortex lift which can increase CLmax by up to 80% but more lift does not equate with higher efficiency. In fact the induced drag is huge and the lift to drag ratio of extremely low AR at normal wing loading is similar to a pizza box with a thick crust pizza, with extra toppings, in it. Now if you also keep the wing loading low enough that the Cl is below 0.2 (the pizza box is empty) the glide isn't so bad but when you pull the nose up it's like putting the pizza back in
Are you including all the possible shape variations (and further variations on top) of a low aspect ratio wing or a theory based on a simple straight/tapered wing? Note that a high aspect ratio is pretty much limited to straight/tapered style.

In the MAV competition, it's interesting to note that 20 years ago the winning design used around 5:1 and now they are around 1:1.
 
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