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William Horton's Wingless designs

hesham

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Hi,

http://home.att.net/~dannysoar/Horton.htm
http://home.att.net/~dannysoar4/Horton3.htm
 

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Justo Miranda

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additional pics
 

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Michel Van

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Wat wend wrong ?

To strange for Aircraft Company ?
Aerodynamic problems ?
or run out of money ?
 

Retrofit

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Michel Van said:
Wat wend wrong ?

To strange for Aircraft Company ?
Aerodynamic problems ?
or run out of money ?


From the TWITT (The Wing Is The Thing) newletter and Danysoar website:
"Horton had designed the airplane in the early 1950s but didn't have the money to develop it. He then was able to get into a partnership with Howard Hughes and Harlow Curtis, since Hughes obviously had the money for producing the plane.
The venture failed not because the airplane didn't fly, but because Hughes wanted to take full credit for the patents and production rights, which Horton refused to do. To prove that money talks, Hughes slapped a law suit on Horton that effectively stopped any further development of the aircraft until this day.
Hughes managed to get the prototype and partially constructed production version destroyed. One aspect of the law suit was a statement the aircraft couldn't fly, which the video obviously shows to not be true. At one point in time Horton was put in jail because he was selling stock in a company for an airplane that "couldn't fly" and had several violent confrontations with people associated with Hughes and Curtis because of the law suit and resulting injunctions."
 

Justo Miranda

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Please see http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,3556.0/highlight,flying+cars.html
 

Jemiba

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At least a proof-of-concept demonstrator flew in 1954.
3-view is from Aviation Week .2.54, where other designs
were shown, too, one of them captioned as "Interceptor-bomber".
 

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Mark Nankivil

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The core of the aircraft in Justo's photos No. 1 thru 3 and the right hand photo in No. 5 is that of a Cessna T-50/UC-78 Bobcat - you can make out the Jacobs radials and associated cowlings in a couple of the photos. Pretty drastic change in contours :)

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

Stargazer2006

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Has anyone heard of William Horton? He apparently did only one real aircraft, the "Swoopy" (see attachment). However, he also designed this car/aircraft crossover vehicle, seen in the flying cars thread:



This Horton has nothing to do with HortEn (a German) but many people misspell the latter like the former, which renders any search pretty difficult!

Funnily, the cockpit design and general shape of the fuselage echo those of the Northrop XP-79B "Flying Ram" fighter prototype, also attached. Any connections here, or only a coincidence?
 

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Jemiba

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"Has anyone heard of William Horton?"

At least the team, which published the Aviation Week February 1954 had
heard of him. ;)
His designs were described as wingless aircraft. Ok, I would rather call them
flying wings, but that's maybe a matter of taste .
 

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Nik

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Concur.

I don't doubt your sources, but the 'Swoopy' looks remarkably similar to the Northrop 'Rammer' aka 'They Shall Not Pass even when the ammo runs out'...

Uh, and the flying car seems derived from that early, boxy Burnelli with telescopic wings, before they went 'blended wing'...

Or vice-versa ??

Sorry, both the main 'Burnelli' and parent 'Aircrash' sites are too full of righteous indignation for me to navigate...
 

Stargazer2006

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Mystery solved! The first part of the Air Trails page shown at the top is here, and proves there were actually two distinct prototypes:



The only archive of the "skunk works digest" refer to a post by Tom G. which said the following:

"there was a single modified Cessna UC-78, registered "N39C", and named "Horton Wingless", (Model "HW-X-26-52") c/n "HW-X26-52", by its designer William E. Horton of Santa Ana, California (or Henderson, Nevada ?) The aircraft was equipped with a strange blended-wing fuselage with large wing fences, and was powered by two 225 hp Jacobs (or Wright R-985 ?) piston engines. It flew for the first time in 1951/52, but was destroyed (burned) after no financial backers for its series production could be found, even though it is still registered in the FAA database (FAA type is 056-01-NU)."

The Aerofiles website confirms as follows:

William E Horton, Santa Ana CA. Wingless 1951 = 2pC flying wing; two 225hp Jacobs and extended driveshafts; span: 40'0". Not truly wingless, but essentially a highly-modified Cessna UC-78 with a more airfoil-shaped fuselage than wing. POP: 1 [N39C]. Although this innovative protoype flew successfully, no backers were attracted, and the project was abandoned, with the plane eventually being deliberately burned.

However, both the initial document I posted and the photos from Aerofiles point to the existence of two separate prototypes, registered as N87698 and N39C.





A member of the RC Groups Forum offers a very interesting illustration by Douglas Rolfe and confirms the existence of two prototypes:

I have not seen any pictures of N87698 in the air....this is the one that the roadable version in the drawing was based on.
The one that actually flew the most was N39C, which had some retractable main wing panels.





A very interesting webpage from the site Twin Pushers and Other Free Flight Oddities devoted to Horton shows lots of pictures and explains that the first prototype had an accident:

http://home.att.net/~dannysoar/Horton2.htm

The FAA base indeed has kept the #2 prototype in its records, so it's safe to assume that the one that got destroyed was #1... although there is no evidence that #2 still exists.

The same site presents other pictures of the second prototypes and documents the history of the project as well as gives pictures and details about the planned Horton V-12:



Finally, a scale modeler from the RC Groups forum did a nice flying replica of the very first Horton prototype (his webpage is here):

 

Stargazer2006

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Apparently the second prototype ALSO crashed. Here is a document that explains why Horton was no longer heard of after the mid-1950s (bold type is mine).

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 misleadingstatements 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.

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

Stargazer2006

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According to this page, "Bill entered into a partnership with Howard Hughes, and legal wrangling from that (still ongoing!) stopped all development of this plane." Quite a different version from what we can read above.
 

Stargazer2006

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Another very interesting source is from a family member of Horton's:

There seems to be some misunderstanding here about the Horton Wingless aircraft, since my uncle was the treasurer of the Horton aircraft co and i have known Bill Horton from the 1950s up until his death in Las Vegas in january of 2000 i feel i can clear up some of the confusion, this aircraft (...) was designed and built by Bill Horton in a 3 way partner ship with Howard Hughes and Harlow Curtice of General Motors fame, the aircraft was not rivited construction but was a welded steel frame covered with a fabric skin and powered by 2 Pratt and Whitney R985 radial engines the aircraft logged around 160 hrs of flight time before Bill had a falling out with Hughes,Was railroaded to prison on trumped up charges and his aircraft was moved to the bone yard at the south end of the Orange Co airport and destroyed

On top of being an interesting footnote in US aviation history, it seems the Horton Wingless is also an interesting footnote to the Hughes legend!
 

hesham

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Stargazer2006 said:
Has anyone heard of William Horton? He apparently did only one real aircraft, the "Swoopy" (see attachment). However, he also designed this car/aircraft crossover vehicle, seen in the flying cars thread:



This Horton has nothing to do with HortEn (a German) but many people misspell the latter like the former, which renders any search pretty difficult!

Funnily, the cockpit design and general shape of the fuselage echo those of the Northrop XP-79B "Flying Ram" fighter prototype, also attached. Any connections here, or only a coincidence?

My dear Stargazer,

please use the search;

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,5996.0/highlight,horton.html
 

Stargazer2006

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GOSH! I'm fed up of reading "use the search thing" on and on and on!!! I DO USE IT every time!!! I went through several ways of searching for Horton and nothing came of it! And I'm no rookie with search engines, being used to digging up lots of stuff from Google and others with boolean phrases...

A moderator can lock and merge with the other topic, but please hesham and the others, stop taking those who can't find a thing in this search engine for complete idiots! "Horton Wingless", "Horton Swoopy" or "William Horton" produced no results! So bear with me!

In the meantime, I have found the complete truth about the Horton Wingless as told in TV news in 1997. Howard Hughes really was such a bast***...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgmHKfawTNg&feature=player_embedded
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Stargazer2006 said:
GOSH! I'm fed up of reading "use the search thing" on and on and on!!! I DO USE IT every time!!! I went through several ways of searching for Horton and nothing came of it! And I'm no rookie with search engines, being used to digging up lots of stuff from Google and others with boolean phrases...

A moderator can lock and merge with the other topic, but please hesham and the others, stop taking those who can't find a thing in this search engine for complete idiots! "Horton Wingless", "Horton Swoopy" or "William Horton" produced no results! So bear with me!

In the meantime, I have found the complete truth about the Horton Wingless as told in TV news in 1997. Howard Hughes really was such a bast***...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgmHKfawTNg&feature=player_embedded

Yet, oddly, you didn't try seaching for "Horton", which would have got you the topic instantly. Being excessively specific is the enemy of all search engines. Don't forget, the forum is quite different to Google because there is *only* likely relevant information on it, so you don't need to exclude Dr Seuss stories, crossbow makers etc.
 

Stargazer2006

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I see. The reason why I excluded "Horton" only is because doing this in other places took me to hundreds of "Horten" pages, either because the search engine was approximate (or allowed for spelling mistakes) but most of the time because the pages had the name badly written... I guess here it's different. I'm not used to "intelligent" search engines!!! ;D
 

aim9xray

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Stargazer2006 said:
I guess here it's different. I'm not used to "intelligent" search engines!!!
I don't think that it is as much the search engine as the intelligent site... ;)
 
M

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Here's are Horton Wingless photos from Orange County, California. This was probably taken at the Orange County Airport, now John Wayne Airport. You can see it flying.







These guys are selling the stock certificate from the sale of the company: http://scripophily.net/hoaicone19.html

This is from their site:

Horton Aircraft Corporation, Santa Ana, California, was founded by William Horton who dreamed of a “wingless airplane”. “Instead of a long high aspect ratio wing the fuselage was to create the lift and tip plates which he called ‘sealers’ were to tip losses that otherwise plague such airfoils.”

Not truly wingless, but essentially a highly-modified Cessna UC-78 with a more airfoil-shaped fuselage than wing. Although this innovative protoype flew successfully, no backers were attracted, and the project was abandoned, with the plane eventually being deliberately burned.

The following is part of the 24th Annual Report of the Securities and Exchange Commission Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1958

Horton Aircraft Corporation. -- This registrant, a Nevada corporation, was organized for the purpose of manufacturing and selling a so-called Horton Wingless Airplane. The company filed two registration statements with the Commission. The first statement, filed in 1955, covered a proposed offering of 500,000 shares of no par value common stock of which 400,000 shares were to be offered by the registrant and 100,000 shares by the president, William E. Horton, at $1.00 per share or the market price, whichever was higher. The other registration statement, filed in 1956, covered 100,000 shares of common stock ofthe registrant held by Horton which was to be offered at $25.00 per share. A consolidated hearing was held as to both registration statements and the Commission issued a stop order suspending the effectiveness of both statements.

The Commission found the registration statements false and misleading in the following material respects, among others.

The representation, in the registration statements that Horton had assigned to the registrant a patent with respect to the wingless airplane was materially misleading in view of the fact that Horton had previously assigned all of his right,title and interest in his "invention" to another person. The description in theregistration statements of the Horton Wingless Airplane, the aeronautical principles involved, and the coverage of the patent obtained by Horton, was also materially false and misleading. False and misleading statements were also made with respect to the performance of Horton's model of the wingless plane. The registration statements also contained false and misleading statements with respect to the use of the proceeds from the previous sale of unregistered securities, the price of the securities being registered and the proposed use of the proceeds therefrom.

In addition, the Commission found that while the second registration statement disclosed the entry of an injunction against registrant and Horton based on false and misleading claims and the return of an indictment against Horton based on fraud, registrant nevertheless omitted to disclose the nature of the false and misleading statements and the fraud involved.
 

Stargazer2006

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From the SDASM collection:
 

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fightingirish

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And another from the SDASM Archives:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/28621516651/
 

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hesham

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Hi,

http://picclick.ca/Horton-Wingless-Aircraft-Controversial-Stock-Information-W-30-B-322225269680.html
 

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John Frazer

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Re: Flying Flapjacks

No mention in this thread of the William Horton "wingless" planes of the '50s
They put on impressive performances in their test flights, and seemed to have great promise.
Howard Hughes was the only source of funding to build the twin after Horton having shown his earlier plane, could find no buyers. After it succeeded (built from the bones of a Cessna T-50 Bobcat) Hughes demanded that Horton sign over all rights, become a designer at Hughes. When he refused, Hughes' lawyers beat his lawyer and Horton was under court injunction from working on it or even talking about it. Had the plane scrapped.

Difficult to stall, almost impossible to spin -they never made it spin, and it was capable of spooky slow flight, even below it's low landing speed.

I originally put this in the "Flapjack" thread because that thread needed a mention of this plane.
I should have linked to this thread.
 

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Mark Nankivil

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Horton Flight Test Photos

Good Day All -

Interesting EPay item - can't say I had seen a photo of it actually in the air.

Enjoy the Day! Mark

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1952-Press-Photo-Aircraft-Wingless-Horton-Design-Pilot-Airport-Test-Flight-6x8/223249018155?hash=item33faadad2b:g:JJ0AAOSw8Mxb-MSH
 

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