I heartily recommend that you visit the museum, online,
by clicking on:
Hiller Aviation Museum
Plan to spend a long time at the museum.
Born in San Francisco, September 30, 1888, Stanley Hiller grew up there and in Alameda. He led for
nearly 80 years an inspired and inspiring life from which only death could cause his retirement. This happened, August 8, 1968.
Pioneer designer of engines and airplanes, Stanley built a glider in 1909 and his first engine and airplane in 1910. He entered this plane in the first San Francisco air meet in January, 1911. A wind storm blew down a pylon tower near which the plane was parked and wrecked the plane. Since there was a $5,000 prize for the best amateur flight, this was quite a setback for the young designer.
His next design in 1911 was a six-cylinder, radial, 30 h.p. engine, which he put into a monoplane of his own design. With this plane he made his first solo flight on June 15, 1911, from a field in Alameda, California.
Realizing the necessity of more powerful engines, he next built in 1912 a 60 h.p. engine which he put in an amphibious monoplane, which he flew off Lake Merritt in Oakland, California.
In 1913 Stanley designed and built a 90 h.p. engine and a monoplane flying boat which he flew from San Leandro Bay at Alameda.
Since then Stanley Hiller turned his attentions to many different machines and processes, and his patents are numerous. His motto seemed to be, "Find a need and fill it". There was need for a wider food base in the Phillipines among millions of starving people. Stanley responded with a process for treatment of coconuts that made the then President Magsay a personal friend. A chance remark was dropped only a little over a year ago by the Governor of Florida about the problem in Florida's lakes and streams caused by the water-hyacinth, and Stanley in less that a year, his 80th year, worked with ceaseless energy to develop a treatment process that resulted in a letter from the Governor beginning, Dear Stanley, Congratulations... You deserve credit from all of us in the State of Florida, for what you have done..." There were more, and then the governor's letter was simply signed, "Claude"
Stanley served as President of The Early Birds from January 1, 1968 until his death. He is survived by his widow, a daughter, Mrs. Chadwick of London, England and a son, Stanley Hiller Jr. of Palo Alto, California.