Pioneer Ohio Aviator - Plane Builder - Manufacturer

     Harvey C. Mummert was born at Alliance, Ohio, April 4, 1892. He attended local schools and graduated from Alliance High School, then Mount Union College, Alliance. Following this he spent two years at Case School of Applied Science, Cleveland, Ohio.
     During his youth and while attending school Mummert became interested in aviation and there is evidence that he built a plane or two in Alliance, and may have had some brief, self-taught flying experiences there. After graduating from Case he became employed as an engineer with the Bishop-Babcock and Demler Company in Cleveland, Ohio.
     In April and May, 1914 the aviation magazines of that period carried an advertisement stating that H. C. Mummert, Alliance, Ohio had for sale a Flying Boat with an 8-cylinder Hall-Scott engine.
     In 1916 Mummert was employed by the Curtiss Company at Buffalo, New York, where he soon made good as an engineer. He continued with Curtiss through World War I and during that time was transforred to the Garden, City, Long Island plant on experimental engineering projects. With the Curtiss Company he was a member of the firm's flying club where had became a very expert pilot. At Garden City he assisted in the design and development of several notable post war I Curtiss planes: the popular MF flying boat in May, 1919 the Eagle 5-passenger biplane cabin transport with 3 Curtiss K-9 engines in September, 1919, the twin-engine military Naval Torpedo monoplane on twin floats; the F-7 and a small metal flying boat glider for Glenn Curtiss.

Harvey Mummert
Mummert Mini-Plane - 1923
Library of Congress Collection
       During 1920-1924 Mummert also designed and built three successful single-seat sport light planes with 2-cylinder Vee-twin motorcycle engines during his spare time as personal projects. These he flew in competition in the light plane events of the National Air Races of that period, gaining nationwide publicity for his skill as a designer, builder and pilot.
     During 1924 Mummert left Curtiss to become engineer and test pilot for the new formed Aerial Service Corporation, Hammondsport, New York, and that year obtained Pilot License No. 6160.
     In 1925 he engineered the "Aerial Mercury Jr.*, a large night mail biplane for the
U. S. Post Office Department. This plane was capable of carrying 1,000 pounds of mail and express, powered by a Liberty-12 engine. It was highly successful and was used for some time on the air mail run between Cleveland and Chicago. That year Mummert also engineered a line of Mercury commercial biplanes, using OX and C-6 engines, optional. The firm also modified Standard J-1 planes with new wings and C-6 engines for trainer and passenger carrying work. The Mercury Jr. biplane, with C-6 engine, wqas a multiplepurpose machine and Mummert flew one of them in the Ford Tour that year. He also continued to fly the small special motorcycle-engineed race planes in the National Air Races in the fall of 1925. The Aerial Service Corporation was also engaged ina teh manufacture of maintenance parts for the Army and Navy Air Services, particularlyu lighter-than-air, most of which were on control cars and engine nacelles.
     In 1926 Mummert designed a non-rigid training blimp, known as the TC-11. Delivery of this blimp was at Scott Field in 1928. Three were made and the Navy did considerable flying with them. For a time the firm operated the Hammondsport airport where Mummert did some instructing and passenger carrying.

Harvey Mummert
Mercury Chic
Contributed by Gretchen Van Gelder Casey, 8-9-10
       During 1927 he obtained Transport License No. 550. That year he produced the Mercury "???" 3-place high-wing monoplane powered by a new special engine of his own design. Some flying was done with this engine but it was not successful, so later Warner-LeBlond and Velie engines were used in those planes. Later called the "Chic", various models of this plane were produced for some time.  

Harvey Mummert
Mercury Chic
This is the Harvey Mummert Mercury Chic that has been restored
and is at the Glenn Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, NY
Contributed by Gretchen Van Gelder Casey, 8-9-10
       The Aerial Service Corporation was re-organized in 1929 when Chicago financial interests entered the firm, headed by well-known Major R. N. Schroeder. The name was changed to Mercury Aircraft, Incorporated, and the Schroeder-Kentworth Safety Plane was built as an entry in the 1929 Guggenheim Safety Contest.
     During 1928-1929 Mummert designed a special low wing race monoplane known as the Model S. It had a retractable landing gear and was powered by a 90 H.P. 4-cylinder inverted Cirrus engine. This plane was built by Otto Kohl who in later years founded the well known Curtiss Memorial Museum at Hammondsport.
     During the depression in 1931 the Chicago financial interests withdrew from the firm and Joseph Meade took over as President and General Manager, with Harvey Mummert as Vice-President and Chief Enfineer. The aircraft business was at a very low ebb so it was decided to build another race plane to keep their staff employed. Konwn as the S-1, it was another low-wing monoplane, powered by a 4-cylinder supercharged inverted Cirrus engine. Both the S and S-1 planes were flown by Mummert in the National Air Races of that period. The firm struggled through the depression years making a few planes, parts for lighter-than-air and a new ski landing gear for winter flying.
     Following a short illness Mummert passed away on May 5th, 1939 at Bath Memorial Hospital, Bath, New York, at age 47. He was survived by his wife, a daughter and two sons. Burial was in Pleasant Valley Cemetary at Hammondsport.
     Flying Pioneer Harvey C. Mummert was a skilled aircraft engineer, pilot and plane builder, designer of many very successful planes of varying types and sizes. Well known throughout the United States for his active participation in Air Tours and Air Race Events he alwasys made a good showing.

BachBack Home