Harvey A. Beilgard

There is nothing fantastic about this airplane. It simply has many
of the best features found on various types around the world.

  WHEN Eugene Vidal, some years back, decided that the world be prepared for a "poor man's airplane," he set a tentative price of $700, thereby driving most aircraft manufacturers to despair, and himself out of the Department of Commerce.
     Last month Larry Brown, Los Angeles racing plane designer, and Harvey A. Beilgard brought forth what they claim is the first real "poor man's airplane" above the lightplane class, but set the price at a realistic "less than $4,000." To reconcile this initial cost with the "poor man" definition, they pointed to a shipful of safety gadgets, designed around the idea of one-man operation. "The airplane as we will build it," says Beilgard, "will show increases only in usefullness to its operator. It will not be particularly fast, but it will be safe. It will fly to San Francisco from Los Angeles in five hours, carrying two people comfortably. It, unlike low-winged airplanes, can be landed in high weeds without injury to the wing. Its slots and flaps make it as nearly foolproof as an airplane can be without being impractical.
     Beilgard admits that most of the features of the Beco-Brown are merely adaptations from old-time ships which have proved their worth. "We have taken a lot of ideas and assembled them on one airplane, trying all the time to keep costs down." Appointments in keeping with this cost idea are simple Shock cord, instead of oleo strut, is the rule. The steerable tail wheel is so swiveled that the pilot can easily push the ship around by the vertical fin, steering the tail by the rudder counter balance.
     Gross weight of the Beco-Brown in its present experimental state is 1,675 lbs. Weight empty is 1,100 lbs. Though complete performance statistics will not be released until flight tests are completed, the ship is said to cruise at 100 m.p.h. with a Lambert "90" in the nose.
     Looking very much less modern than many an older airplane at first sight, the Beco-Brown nevertheless includes most of the features that make a modern airplane. The large windshield, of Plastacelle, stands almost straight up and down and the nose disregards sweeping lines to achieve narrowness and visibility. Exhaust fumes empty into a tailpipe which carries them well back of the cabin. In flight, the airplane takes off normally. After a decent run, it flies off and climbs well without sacrificing forward speed. Its large flaps, plus the Handley-Page slots, bring it in to an exceptionally short landing.
     It seems logical to assume that an airplane of this type would be the answer to the lightplane pilot's demand for "something a little heavier", yet just as safe.

Harvey A. Beilgard
Harvey A. Beilgard
Test Pilot Russell Hankforth and Harvey Beilgard (hand on wing) inspect the L-5.
Beilgard demonstrates at right the ease with which one man can push the ship around.

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