Harvey A. Beilgard

The following article appeared in Hughesnews, July 31, 1942, Vol. 3, No. 7. Hughesnews was "Published weekly by employees of Hughes Aircraft Co., Culver City, Calif."
The newsletter copy was scanned, OCR processed, and edited for OCR errors by Terri Guzman, a granddaughter of Harvey Beilgard.

     We have an Army Inspector over in the north building whom we wish to introduce to you because we believe he deserves a spot in our Who’s Who at Hughes. His name is Harvey Beilgard.
     With thirty-two years of actual flying experience, it would be almost safe to say that he is the "oldest living pilot." Prior to the time he started flying, he was a roustabout in the sand dunes of Indiana at the camp of Octave Chanute during the glider days of 1901-1902.
     He was born in Milwaukee on July 8, 1889, attended the University of Wisconsin and Massachusetts Insti­tute of Technology. He then joined Chanute, where he met the Wright brothers and Glenn Curtiss, all of whom believed that man could fly in motor-propelled heavier-than-air machines.
     Before becoming associated with Glenn Curtiss in 1910, he carried on extensive experiments with huge kites and was able to obtain from them a lift of approximately eighty pounds. All of these tests added greatly to the then meager knowledge of man-made flying machines. During his spare time while with Curtiss, he built a plane of his own, incorporating the best features of the Bleriot and the Antoinette.
     After completing his machine, he taxied it up and down the field until other pilots began to kid him about staying on the ground. Finally he took off, circled the field and made a perfect landing. A plane and a pilot were born.
     Since that time his career has covered every page in the book of practical flying, experimental work and aircraft production.
     In 1930, Beilgard began experiments with butane gas powered aircraft. He started with a 500 h.p. engine. At that time a 225 h.p. motor was the latest in design. Even though his motor was not as large in size as the regular 225 h.p. engine, there was little commercial value for an engine of this type and so further experiments were abandoned for the time being.
     In 1936, he again started experimenting on butane-powered aircraft. He then built a two-place plane which has a cruising speed of 100 miles per hour and lands at about 20 m.p.h. with slots.
     We are glad to have a man of Mr. Beilgard’s experience and knowledge here at the Plant.
---Ralph Richardson.

You may read the whole story by clicking on:
Harvey Beilgard

You may read the whole story by clicking on:
Harvey Beilgard

Thanks for your reply. Needless to say I was quite surprised that ANYONE would know about the EBs. My wife, Gloria, and I travel about 9-10 months out of the year in our R.V. Consequently the pictures and history I have on my dad is at our home base near Sacramento. We are on the road now and won't be back in that area until mid to late March. I will search the info I have out and scan it and send it on to you.
As for my dad's death. I was only 13 at the time but as I know he was flying either his butane powered airplane he built or another one (I haven't been able to determine which), from Chicago Midway to Santa Monica in Dec. 44 when he encountered a storm in Arizona and crashed somewhere near Flagstaff. He was missing for several days and when found he was transported when able from the hospital there to Santa Monica Hospital. He had contracted pneumonia and that coupled with cirrhosis of the liver (they all drank too much in those days) he died in the hospital in Santa Monica.
There is a web site and I'm not sure the title but I think it is www.aircraftengines.com where he is listed as the inventor of the butane powered radial aircraft engine. I got a virus in my computer several months ago and lost all my web addresses. You can probably find it with a search engine.

AeroFiles ENTRY
One of the few sources of information on Harvey Beilgard on the net
is to be found on the Aerofiles site under the title Beco, Beco-Brown.
There is information on several planes
which were produced by the Beilgard Company
and includes one photo of the Beco-Brown L5.
You may visit the site by clicking on:
AeroFiles, American Aviation from 1903 to 2001
In addition, there is a reference to his butane engine.
Click on: Powerplants
You may use the "Find" function on "Beilgard".

       Harvey A. Beilgard died in California, December 31, 1944
AUGUST, 1946 - PESCO, CLEVELAND, OHIO - 1 Number 34
Courtesy of Steve Remington at COLLECTAIR

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