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The designs are all protected by technical copyright under class I, in the Copyright Office in Washington, D. C., in the unpublished class, this being chosen to maintain knowledge of the inventions away from foreign governments, to which all patents are, or have been, available easily on the payment of 10 cents
, the applications for patent providing drawings, specification, and claims, the last the body of the patent, by law being so set forth that "any person skilled in the art” could make the device patented after the patent expired.
As the United States Government, through its interested departments, would be our only purchaser, it was and is protected against knowledge of the devices by any foreign government by this method. Recently the Government has introduced bills to hold secret the issue of patents on inventions that would serve the United States in the event of war. The Naultys have provided against this disclosure, from 1914 to date, being aware of the use made by foreign governments of the information contained in published patents.
Following the usual custom, you have written to the Secretaries of War and Navy and other officials, especially to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, and reply has been made in several instances. None of these replies deal with the inventions for which compensation is claimed by the Naultys in H. R. 2864. In some cases these replies deal with other matters, not before your committee, sometimes to prolixity on irrelevant matters. This is particularly true of the communications, data prepared by subordinates, sent to you by the Secretary of War and the Chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. These gentlemen are not to blame, as it is impossible for chiefs of departments and important offices to be informed on what might be called minor matters, and so they must rely on members of their staffs for accuracy, which always is not provided.
Also it is assumed that the report from the subordinate is free from personal prejudice, which, likewise, is not always the case. The reply of George W. Lewis Director of Aeronautical Research of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, to a letter written by the then Senator Hiram Bingham, of Connecticut, on April 22, 1929, Lewis' letter being dated May 1, 1929, a copy of which is on file with your committee, is self-evident, in its wording, especially: "there was nothing in the inventions or ideas of Mr. Naulty so far as known to this Committee (the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) that is needed by the Government in the development of aeronautics"; to make such a statement, even in a secret letter, about over 100 items in a bill for their purchase is not only unethical and malicious but it is downright falsehood.
The reputation of a man in his profession or occupation is his most precious possession, and to furtively attack it is reprehensible. Reasons for this antagonism, besides the one which follow, will be given later.
In November 1917 the elder Fairfax Naulty personally filed with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics the plans for a portable parachute attachable to and detachable from the body of a pilot. Parachutes had been used by balloonists before this date, but they were not attached to the body but to a short bar from which the pilot swung after jumping from the balloon. The invention of Naulty was composed of a parachute, a container for the parachute from which it could quickly be released, and straps of suitable material which would attach the portable parachute to the body of the pilot, so designed as to easily be operative; combined with this was a protective steel helmet described on page 4, lines 3 to 10, of H. R. 2864.
A blueprint was submitted by Fairfax Naulty, together with a covering letter, and the blueprint, as he afterward learned, was marked "No. 1,” indicating that it was the first one received on the novel subject.
After two letters of inquiry, and a second personal call at the old offices of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, a letter signed by W. C. Durand, then the Chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, dated December 12, 1917, File 3777, and marked “Received December 12, 20570." The letter was published in the print of the hearings for the Purchase of Fairfax Naulty Inventions in Aviation, Committee on Patents, Seventy-first Congress, first session, April 18, 1930, on pages 48–49 of that report, and it reads:
“Dear Sir: Receipt is acknowledged of your letter under date of December 8. The use of parachutes in connection with the operation of observation balloons is well known, but its adoption for use in airplanes is more uncertain, for the reason that it is next to impossible to carry out the necessary experiments to ascertain what its measure of usefulness may be.
“It is obvious that to leave an airplane by parachute is absolutely the last resort of the airman who finds himself in extreme difficulty—it supplies him with
the off chance of saving his life. But to be really effective there should be training in its use, and this would have to reproduce, more or less, those circumstances of extreme difficulties, and it is perfectively obvious that no sane commander nor administration would consent to those risks being taken."
In view of the long, and generally successful, use of parachutes by pilots and the war use of landing groups of armed pilots behind enemy forces, not always successful in attack after landing, since the invention of parachutes was to save lives, not destroy them, a little of the "vision" G. W. Lewis so scornfully derides might have been of help to W. C. Durand in his work, as chairman of a committee especially designed for technical “research." The animus of Lewis will be apparent on the reading in full of his letter to Bingham, filed with the Committee on Claims.
To make it a matter of textual record, the elder Fairfax Naulty read the Durand letter to the Senate Military Affairs Committee when it was under the chairmanship of the Honorable James W. Wadsworth, and it was printed in the report of that committee. Also it was printed in the report of the Committee on Patents, Seventy-first Congress, first session, issued April 18, 1930.
This publicity of a blunder by W. C. Durand was never forgiven Fairfax Naulty. It might be a good idea for G. W. Lewis to read Proverbs 29: 18, “Where there is no vision the people perish.”
So much confusion seems to exist in the files of the War Department that it may be well to make an explanation of the actual facts as briefly as possible on a matter that from start to end covered a year of work on the part of Fairfax Naulty and, in part, of his son.
This work was on the fabrication to an equal and definite scale of nonlaminated, mahogany models of wing sections, as they were then called. Working with a well-skilled cabinetmaker in Washington daily Fairfax Naulty and he were able to turn out one finished model, 1 meter in span, with varying chords (distances from leading to trailing edges of the wing models). One of these inodels was slotted, this slotting being done in 1918, long before Handley-Page's accidental discovery of the value of span-slot aft of the leading edge of a plane wing.
All told, 30 models of the meter span were turned out by Fairfax Naulty at his own expense, and twelve 12-inch models, for easy portability. Fifteen of the meter-span models were made to increase value in fight; to ascertain what we could do to improve means of flight; 15 were freaks, made to show what could not be done, or, rather, what should not be done. It was the smaller models, all operative, that were later in November tested at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology wind tunnel, the head operator at that time being Alexander Klemin, the second being Edward P. Warner, now a member of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics board of regents and at an earlier time an Assistant Secretary for Air for the Navy, if I recall rightly. These tests were made in November 1918, after the armistice, but planned for earlier, when the United States of America was still at war.
Wind-tunnel tests then, and even now, are not conclusive, because they are conducted in controlled air flow, while in actual flight the free air through which a plane flies cannot be controlled and varies from minute to minute.
This fact was and is well known to any aeronautical technician. If the air flow could be seen and not deducted from empirical data, itself not accurate, designers could see the exact effect of air flow across the upper and lower surfaces of wing sections, and the turbulence astern of the trailing edge could be studied and perhaps modified to improve flight.
Fairfax Naulty had some experience with motion pictures, and thinking the problem over of using motion-picture film, 16-18 frames, or panels, to the minute, he tried smoke. Definitely no good, as the smoke expanded in its movement in addition to the motion conducted to the wing section from the blast of a propeller.
Fine sand, sprinkled evenly over the wing surfaces might do. So a visit was paid to several beaches in search of a fine white sand. It was finally found at Long Beach, Long Island, and an ample quantity brought to Washington; tests were made and proved hopeful of good results.
The method used was to set up a propeller, on a motor-a Jenny motor was used-surround the whole set-up with a housing, and place a movable curtain of heavy canvas between the propeller and the wing section under tests. Cinema cameras, lent by the United States Signal Corps and operated by Signal Corps men, were put in position, one above the wing section, the other at the side, so that synchronized pictures could be made of the air flow in plan and in side elevation. .Sand was carefully spread over the surface being tested, the motor started, and at the right speed the canvas curtain was drawn to one side and the propeller
The finished film was brought to Washington by Fairfax Naulty and deposited in a vault at the War College. The projection room at the War College was used for the display of the film to General Menoher and his aide, Director of Air Service, who had succeeded General Kenly, and were later turned over to Air Service and by it, or by Signal Corps, later were sent to McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio.
Flu was epidemic in the United States in 1918–19, and despite rugged health previously, Fairfax Naulty contracted a case of "walking flu” in Washington. He continued his work and then went to New York later, en route to McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio, when the real flu struck him. He took the train for Dayton and had a severe attack on the train but managed to get to Dayton and to a hotel, where he had to take to bed. In those days a flu case was either dead or entirely recovered in 472 days, and Fairfax Naulty recovered.
Reporting at McCook Field, he found Alexander Klemin apparently in charge of the Technical Section. Having learned in the meantime that Klemin had taken data of the wind-tunnel tests from the building at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to his home and there—and this charge is made deliberatelyaltered the results of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology tests to make them appear unfavorable to the value of the wing sections devised by Fairfax Naulty, he directly charged Klemin at his desk with this and declined to continue with any work over which Klemin had charge or supervision.
It is regretted that it seems advisable to go into this detail in regard to the Fairfax Naulty wing sections and the cinema-sand tests on them and other comparable wing sections, as neither the wing sections nor the cinema-sand test film is referred to in the bill H. R. 2861, now before the Committee on Claims, but as there is a continued series of indirect and subversive references to Fairfax Naulty throughout the data supplied to the Secretary of War and by him forwarded to the Committee on Claims, in justice to himself and to his personal and aeronautical Teputation Fairfax Naulty asks indulgence for this detail.
And, most important, none of this data was known to Fairfax Naulty until it was sent to the Committee on Claims, and, in fairness to Fairfax Naulty, shown to him that he might place in rebuttal such facts as were actual, and not inferential suppositions and assumptions, made by persons opposed to Fairfax Naulty. These inferences might go into the record and be accepted as factual later when Fairfax Naulty would not be alive to combat them to the disparagement him, to his son, and grandchildren and other members of his family. A full record is on file in the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress in Washington, and Fairfax Naulty is content to rely on the disclosures of his inventions there and those in which his son, before and after his Army service, participated.
In addition, in the last 22 years, Fairfax Naulty and his son have devised new forms of flightcraft and accessories. A new war expanding throughout the world might involve the United States in its aviation operations, and these new inventions, since 1918–19, may prove of value to the Nation of which Fairfax Naulty, his forebears, and progeny are native citizens.
Enclosure No. 3, pages 1, 2, and 3, in the report of the Secretary of War, is a photostatic copy of a letter to the Director of Air Service, then Maj. Gen. C. T. Menoher, from B. Q. Jones, Lieutenant Colonel, A. S. A., Assistant Chief of Supply group, dated July 16, 1919, he having evidently been shifted from the Technical Section. Jones' letter is malicious in its antagonism to Fairfax Naulty.
Jones states that Fairfax Naulty airfoils were proposed for tests to the “then” Technical Section of Air Service, Årmy, as the present Air Corps was then called, and that the Technical Section turned the proposal down (untrue). That later Fairfax Naulty interested General Kenly in his project and that General Kenly gave Fairfax Naulty "some" encouragement (untrue, partly). What actually occurred was that Fairfax Naulty conferred with General Kenly first, who suggested that Fairfax Naulty see what he could do with the Technical Section, as he wanted to get a reaction from the Technical Section as to the reception of new plans and ideas in aeronautics. Fairfax Naulty reported_“indifference" on the part of the Technical Section, General Kenly then told Fairfax Naulty to go ahead, that new ideas were needed, and agreed to let the experimental work be done at Bolling Field, Washington, D. C., and issued orders to the commanding officer at Bolling Field to provide space, motor, propellor, and housing. This was done and carried through to the finish of the cinema-sand tests.
In section I, the suggestion is obliquely made that there was something out of order about the payment of expenses to Fairfax Naulty incurred in the work of experiment or, rather, actually demonstration, not experiment, and reference is made to three brother officers as "since discharged," as if their discharge were connected with their signing the actual vouchers for expenses presented by
H. Repts., 79-1, vol. 1--49
Fairfax Naulty. In view of the actualities of the spending of over a billion of dollars for the manufacture of airplanes and the failure to get such airplanes to the American Expeditionary Forces in France until after the Armistice, the great fuss made by Menoher and Jones over an expense bill covering nearly 6 months, every item of which was supported by vouchers and amounting to a little over $1,000, seems ridiculous petty fogging.
Section K is filled with untruths. General Kenly's telegram to the Director of Air Service August 23, 1919, copied in enclosure No. 4, disposes of all questions of authority given Fairfax Naulty by General Kenly. It is not garrulous, but it is absolutely definite. General Kenly did authorize Fairfax Naulty to go ahead and that expenses would be paid (digression). Why Menoher and Jones went to all the trouble they did is still a puzzle to Fairfax Naulty, who hesitates to give his credence to the presistent suggestions of oblique reasons by both men. Nil nisi bonum de mortuius. General Menoher died August 14, 1930, hence he cannot explain; nor can Fairfax Naulty, ethically or decently, attack the reputation of a dead man, even though for over 20 years the files of the Air Service and the War Department contained errors in statement, to call them such, that have harmed him and that have only come to his knowledge within the last fortnight or the battle would have been fought out to get a correct record long ago.
Maj. B. Q. Jones' letter to General Menoher is filled with inaccuracies—to use a mild term. Jones admits that he had no personal knowledge of what he sets forth, a Major Lake then being in charge of the Technical Section, and Brig. Gen. William L. Kenly, Director of Military Aeronautics, which had succeeded the Signal Corps Air Service, previously in charge of aircraft design and production. Maj. B. Q. Jones was later demoted and transferred to another branch of the Army, the implication at the time being that he was not up to the duties of technical operations in aeronautics.
If the statements that follow seem incredible, reference may be had to the reports of the Hughes (now Chief Justice of the Supreme Court), Lampert, and other committees of investigation and the report of the Morrow Board, in which statements are set forth far more derogatory to the persons named than any that are made, and based on fact, by Fairfax Naulty in this brief.
After the cinema-sand tests were made at Bolling Field, General Kenly, at one of the talks with Fairfax Naulty, asked if tests could be made by flowing water across the wing sections and photographing the results both in plan and from a side elevation, as Fairfax Naulty had mentioned in an earlier talk. General Kenly was told that no facilities were available in Washington and that the nearest place usable for such experiment was the public aquarium in New York, where Fairfax Naulty had made many studies of fish bodies in movement to determine nature's way of reducing movement resistance by water pressure by "streamlining" fish bodies. General Kenly said: "Why not try it?"
So Fairfax Naulty and his son went to New York and negotiated with the superintendent of the aquarium with a view to using one or more of the fish tanks for this purpose, the work to be done after the aquarium closed for the day. The difficulties of getting satisfactory results and of getting an equipment made for placing of the cameras were so many that after about 10 days the project was given up.
A Signal Corps photographer was delegated by Major General Suier, Chief Signal Officer, and he was sent to New York to "stand by.” This man, whose name, as I recall it, was Gilmore, was what is known as "nosy” and was always asking questions, where I was and what I was doing, etc. As I was in charge of the work and his job was to photograph when needed, I probably told him the story about the gulls, as he was a gullible sort of being, anyway. That is probably how the foolish gull story started. I had made many still photos of birds of all sorts in flight and needed no more for my present purpose at that time.
That such silly "gab" should be entered on the record and stuffily reported to General Menoher by B. Q. Jones 'is about as inane a thing as I ever heard of.
It is too bad that the time of the committee and my time should be needed to offset the “report” of B. Q. Jones, but some answer seems to be required and hence is briefly given. B. Q. Jones has been shifted about a good deal in the service, as the Adjutant General's Office could indicate.
Reverting to parachutes:
Fairfax Nausty can still recall his bitter disappointment over the cavalier treatment of his parachute attachable to and detachable from the body of a pilot (Fairnault portable parachute) by W. C. Durand and the subsequent lack of confidence in the decisions of the officials of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. Today troops, equipment, tanks, and artillery are down in