Re: {Collins} S-Line Question for Collins Historians

The Wingless airplane was the Aerodyne. This was a Navy project conducted by the Collins Aeronautical Research Lab headed by Dr. Alexander Lippisch. A full scale mockup was built but it never flew. Lippisch was the designer of the ME-163 Komet, a Delta wing rocket aircraft that flew late in WWII. Lippisch came to this country on Operation Paperclip and worked with Convair on the Delta configuration which eventually resulted in the F-102, F-106 and B-58. He came to Collins around 1950.

He also worked on Wing in Ground effect craft that resulted in the X-112 which successfully flew at Coralville Lake. That craft came back to Cedar Rapids after being in storage at EAA HQ in Oshkosh for several years. The History Center here in Cedar Rapids had it for several years but was never able to publicly display it. It is now at the Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville. It should be home in Cedar, but better that it be displayed than in storage.

There was a patent board on the wall at Main Plant with patent numbers and the inventors, but it was taken down during a remodeling project years ago. Rod Blocksome and I did some research on the patents several years ago and think we found 1800 or so, but the list was not complete. There were three patents from the late '30s issued to Walter Wirkler, an early Collins engineer, related to the phasing method of single side band generation and detection. These were likely the result of Walter's master work at Ohio St. He assigned them to Collins after he returned to work. Interesting that Collins never used that method to any extent, adapting the filter method, although current SDR designs use a form of phasing.

Fred Johnson's ME team headed the S-line mechanical design work. Some of the old timers say a draftsman actually doodled the S-Line cabinet design as a result of Chuck Carney and presumably Mr. Collins' desire for a new look. The initial thought was to use the KWM-1 cabinet. (not substantiated). Mr. Collins did direct the team to use the front panel overlay texture as that used on his Leica camera. The old timers say he left everything else up to the design team. He did do extensive testing on the S-Line at home and likely came up with a large file of comments.

In the mid '90s, a director who happened to be a ham, proposed a low profile S-Line cabinet for a new control he was introducing. The Collins division president, Jack Cosgrove, who was not a ham, firmly rejected it saying he wanted something "professional" not "amateur"!

Jim w0nkn

From: "Richard Knoppow" <dickburk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 9:45 PM
To: "W3YY" <w3yy@xxxxxxx>; <collins@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: {Collins} S-Line Question for Collins Historians

----- Original Message ----- From: "W3YY" <w3yy@xxxxxxx>
To: <collins@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 4:41 PM
Subject: {Collins} S-Line Question for Collins Historians

Who can we thank for the physical design of the S-Line? Since it's
introduction, I've found it to be the most attractive and inviting piece of amateur radio equipment I've ever seen. Who had the brains and guts to make
such a paradigm switch to this package from the old big black boxes?
Obviously, Art Collins must have approved, but was it originally his idea or
that of someone else?

73, Bob - W3YY

I did a search for design patents issued to Collins Radio Company and got only four hits. One was the panel for the 51J series No.D168,214. Others were for a late 1930's broadcasting speech input console, a aircraft course indicator, and a _wingless airplane_! I wonder what that was all about. I am sure Collins must have had many other design patents but somehow Google patents isn't finding them. I've had this experience with Google before. There is some magic wording for the search which will turn up more stuff but I can't figure it out right now.

Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles

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