Robert J. Stewart (April 2, 1893-Dec. 30, 1948), was one of the founding members of EBs.
From Baltimore Polytechnic Institute he launched a career of mechanical engineering. He designed gasoline engines and electrical accessories and then turned to aeronautics. From 1909-1914, with W. Overton Snyder of Baltimore, he built and tested gliders. One was towed around a race track and another was fitted with pontoons and projected off a high bank into the water. In 1914 he flew with Roger Jannus in a Benoist boat and then proceeded to build his won, with a 75 h.p. Maximotor in the hull and chain drive to the propeller. An improved model was flown the next year and a third in 1916. This had two ENV 80 h.p. engines mounted between the wings, each driving direct a 3-bladed screw.
This year he associated himself with Spencer Heath in the American Propeller Co. and developed a method of sheathing tips with metal. After some active duty on the Border, he returned to the propeller work and the designing of production tools. He produced a hollow steel propellere in 1917 while working with the foreign representatives on European planes which the U. S. was planning at one time to put into production.
In 1922 he was engineer officer of the 29th Division Air Service, Maryland National Guard, one of the first to be organized after the war, continuing in this job to 1929.
In 1924 he was one of the organizers and vice-president of Sky-Syne Corporation, which performed various novel feats in aerial advertising, including night flying with electric signs on the lower wing.
He was next vice-president and general manager of the Monumental Aircraft Co. of 1925, dealing in aircraft supplies. From 1929 he was distributor for Maryland of Fairchild planes and engines until he joined the Crown Cork & Seal Co. of which company he was chief engineer at his death. He held transport license 3786 and A. & E. 4398.
Surviving are his wife and one daughter, Mrs. Anne S. Cates of North Carolina.
courtesy of Steve Remington - CollectAir
From The Early Birds of Aviation
Roster of Members
January 1, 1993
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