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Custer Channelwing: Introduction
"Unbelievable Performance"


Inventor Willard Custer standing in front of CCW-5

The saga of the Custer Channelwing is probably the most interesting of all V/STOL aircraft. It is without doubt, the oldest ongoing saga in aviation. This is the story of a single minded man on a single minded mission to change the path of aviation. Years of research, tests by every conceivable variety of agency, and stunning flying examples, didn't add up to commercial production of the Channelwing. It isn't that the Custer wouldn't perform, it was rather, that maybe it performed unbelievably well, with the accent on unbelievable.

Willard Custer made many claims for the channelwing,including the discovery of new lift principles, which he called,"aerophysics". Most engineers, cynics and parents, know you can't get something, for nothing. So when Custer claimed 8.2 pounds of static lift per horsepower, with a simple fixed wing aircraft, critics scoffed and tended to look the other way. But, Custer was persistent to say the least. In time, he was back, claiming 13.8 pounds lift per horsepower, vertical capabilities, fighter like speed, simple construction, and heavy load capacity, beyond anything built to date. He also hinted that the university academia and manufacturers didn't know what they were talking about when they criticized the channelwing, and needed to be re-trained to understand his new theories of lift. It was obvious by this time that he was a crackpot inventor, untrained in the aeronautical world, and tiresome to listen to.

Custer was dumped into the dustbin of aviation history for obvious reasons. So obvious,in fact, that no one stopped to notice that, for the most part, he was right.

 
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