FUN AIRCRAFT I OWNED WHILE WITH GENERAL SCIENTIFIC

I spent the next couple of years as Director of Electronics Engineering with the General Scientific Corporation. Built a gorgeous brick Williamsburg type home across from my home, Miskel Farm near Sterling, Viginia. It served as the offices and laboratory for the electronics division of General Scientific. I received an interesting patent while with General Scientific. Fundamentally what it described was a "no battery remote radio transmitter" that was powered by radiating it with radio frequency energy from a distant transmitter. All it was was two tiny crystal diodes and a short piece (few inches) of wire for an antenna. The patent covered the popular "Sensormatic" anti-shoplifitng devices seen in department stores around the world. Sad to say the patent ran out before I could collect any royalties on it. We built a number of sonobuoys for the US Navy using my principle.

I bought a twin engine Aero Commander 520 as illustrated above from a friend. Gram and I flew it to Miami, Bimini and Nassau on vacation. I used it to commute to Ocean City, Maryland where General Scientific was conducting a number of microbiological battery cell tests in the Atlantic Ocean. One of my inventions was featured in a twin full color page in the center of LIFE magazine titled, "First Application of Micobiologically Generated Power." It showed a test tube driving an Esaki diode which ran a crystal controlled 50 Mhz radio transmitter on the top of the test tube. Bugs running a radio transmitter was a novelty.


Sold the Aero Commander and bought a type of 'Cavalier' customized P-51D Mustang shown below. The fuselage fuel tank was removed and a passenger seat installed behind the pilot. All external machine gun ports were covered with flush riveted aluminum skin. Same was done for the rocket rails and bomb attachments. The Rolls Royce Merlin engine's cylinder heads were milled for a higher compression ratio which increased power output to about 1800 horsepower and required 120 octane fuel. Modern Bendix avionics were also installed. It was a good IFR (instrument flight rules) aircraft even though it did not have an autopilot. I flew it IFR to Florida a number of times. High cruise speed was about 360 miles an hour. A P-51 really needs an experienced crew chief to keep it running in top condition. Since I did not have one I finally sold it to a Vice President of General Motors. This nut completely totalled this beautiful aircraft by running it into a snow and ice bank at Willow Run Airport in Michigan at about 130 miles an hour. He walked away from the crash, but the aircraft was completely destroyed. Today, P-51s like mine are selling for $600,000 plus. I should have put it in a barn and waited.

tod's cyber monday