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Letter from Norman Hawk

Technical information:  I have been in contact with a very knowledgeable aviation engineer in the USA.  His name is Norman Hawk, who has had a long interest in Harriet and the resultant tragedy and why it happened.  His correspondence is below:


Martin, I apologize for my slow response to your inquiry.  Although I am retired, I find myself challenged for more time.  I am building a Sonex airplane in my garage, add to that family, social, and medical matters, and that means time is short!

I have a Bachelor's degree and two advanced degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan.  I have worked for Boeing, the Glenn L. Martin Company, University of Michigan, Williams International, and General Motors Tech Center.  I retired in  1997.

I propose you could publish, if you wish.

I have found a copy of the Harriet Quimby Research Conference Journal, volume four, 1998. and could photocopy my paper for you.  However, I imagine a digital version would be cleaner and more useful to you, so I will continue to dig for it.

Please acknowledge receipt of this email, and provide any comments or questions you may have.  I would be interested in hearing your Bleriot owner's comments, if any.  I have seen a very few Bleriots, and they all have had the horizontal stabilizer which splits at mid-span.  I suspect this might be a more robust tail in terms of pulling out of a dive.

I would like to add that Barnaby Wainfain, a well-known and respected Aero Engineer (developer of the "facet plane"), wrote in the the magazine Kitplanes that the Bleriot dive was caused by the wing.

I see this as a confirmation of my earlier analysis, and a final answer to all those experts who chose the lifting tail as the basic cause of diving.

I wish the very best to all you folks who honor Harriet's accompllishments .  It is a tough but rewarding job!

Sincere regards, Norman Hawk

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