- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Jason Aronson / T.D. Associates (June 1, 1982)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0876684851
- ISBN-13: 978-0876684856
- Package Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.1 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,454,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Legacy of Wings: The Story of Harold F. Pitcairn
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Harold Pitcairn and his company developed many many aviation patents along the way, he was smart enough to go to the patent office and get a patent every time something from him or his company was invented. Harold Pitcairn and his company are responsible for the development of the "Swash Plate" mechanism that is still used today in virtually all helicopters and is located at the top of the helicopter joining the blades with the shaft to the transmission and motor. He and his company developed this and patented it, and told the U.S. Government during WWII he would allow other manufactures to utilize his patents in their development of helicopters for almost no patent royalties and after the war's end they would have to pay full royalty rate.
Sadly, our U.S. government thought no should have to pay ever and did everything in their power to stop him. Pitcairn ended up suing the U.S. and took two trips to the U.S. Supreme Court and 26 years to win the case, and he won on all counts! But Pitcairn died 16 years earlier and never got to savor his win.
This is the real story "take away" as well as the most fascinating part of the book is, if a high ranking, unelected, bureaucrat working for the government decides you don't deserve something, you may be in for the fight of your life! Luckily we have an independent judiciary who is able to see that justice prevailed in the end even if it took 26 years and two visits to the US Supreme Court to do so.
As a prolog to the book, I asked one of Harold Pitcairn's relatives about the U.S. court case, and they confirmed yes his estate had ultimately won the case. The damages, interest, delaying penalties etc were about 60 million dollars, but the taxes that had to be paid on the judgement was about 50% and the attorneys' fees were very high as well leaving the estate and heirs FAR less.
advocate of Pitcairn and ascribes to him developments and insights that he did not make which detracts from the latter's very real accomplishments.
The book is somewhat useful for its technical information; look at everything else through a sieve of common sense and objectivity.
Even if I weren't related, this is great stuff for anyone to read about the pioneering days of American aviation, from the early mail service (later becoming Eastern Airlines) to the co-development work on the autogiro---the precursor of the helicoptor.
Go for it!