|Courtesy of George Frebert
Back in the days when planes began to span the Atlantic and were first being flown around the world, the name Bellanca
was as well-known in aviation circles as Ford was in the early auto era.
The man who added his name to aviation annals was Guiseppe M. Bellanca, pioneer aircraft designer, who died Dec. 26, 1960, at the age of seventy-four. He resided at Galena, Md.
A native of Sicily, he began his experiments in aircraft design while studying in Milan, Italy. He came to the United States in 1911 and became a U. S. citizen in 1929.
From 1912 to 1916 he ran the Bellanca Airplane school at Mineola, Long Island, but his main interest was in the design and construction of planes. After World War I, he joined the Wright Aeronautical Corporation, and designed a number of single-engine monoplanes.
A Wright-Bellanca plane, the Columbia, set a world record in 1927. Later, piloted by Clarence Chamberlain, the plane was the first to fly the Atlantic with a passenger (Charles A. Levine).
Following the success of the Columbia, Mr. Bellanca formed his own company at New Castle, Del. Among the company's planes was the one in which Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herdon Jr. made the first non-stop flight across the Pacific in 1931. He sold his interest in the company six years ago.
He leaves his widow, Dorothy Brown Bellanca and a son, August.