What Other's Have Said...
Newspaper and Magazine Excerpts:
Los Angeles Examiner, February 12, 1931: "Automatic Air Safety Device Passes Tests. Robot Holds Airplane on Even Keel. George DeBeeson, Inventor, Puts "Iron Skull" through Paces for General Electric Experts."
Los Angeles Examiner: "Iron Skull" Demonstrated at Air School. Initial Tests Indicate Automatic Control Handles Ship Better Than Pilots Can," Lawrence Talbot, President of the California Aerial Transport School, was the only "air official" with nerve enough to try the "skull" device during its initial tests, DeBeeson declared. Investigators of the General Electric Company, following initial tests also admit that the "iron skull" handles a ship even better than a human pilot-instantly correcting any deviation in direction or altitude."
San Antonio Light, Feb. 21, 1931: Press feature story and photos: "Replaces human control. Making another step in aviation safety is the "Iron Skull" flying device, demonstrated by George DeBeeson the inventor, shown in the plane, who says it will prevent tailspins, side-slips, maintain compass course and is "foolproof." Lower photo shows propeller which operates safety device, with DeBeeson explaining the way it works with Larry Talbot."
Popular Mechanics Magazine, May, 1931: Photos and write-up: "Iron Skull" which pilots plane in flight; it operates by magnetic compass or push-button control. "Iron Skull" gives airplane added safety" etc.
Modern Mechanics, July 1931: Photos and write-up: "Robot Replaces Flight Instructor, Jean Allen a student pilot, is shown at the controls of the Robot instructor." etc. "A flight instructor which simulates real flying conditions and gives the student pilot the visual as well as mechanical "feel" of the airplane in flight." has been recently developed by George DeBeeson, a Los Angeles inventor.
Aviation Magazine, December 1, 1929: "Fog and Blind Flying. Solving the Problem of Fog Flying" published in pamphlet form by the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics, Inc., New York City, Oct, 1929. "...Other problems, such as the prevention of ice formation, automatic warnings of the danger of collision, and the use of so-called automatic pilot, have been studied under the auspices of the Fund with aid of Lt. Doolittle and the flying laboratory. IT IS PARTICULARLY INTERESTING TO NOTE, INCIDENTALLY, THAT DEMONSTRATIONS SINCE THE PAMPHLET WAS PUBLISHED POINT TO THE PRACTICABILITY OF AUTOMATIC PILOTS..." etc. etc.
D.C. Van Horn, Aviation Specialist, The General Electric Company: "It's great! I never saw anything like it."
Franklin rose, Manager, Varney Air Lines: "The instrument flew the plane better that we could," Rose said after the plane landed. "It was a wonderful demonstration. It took the ship out of tail spins automatically, put the ship through perfect turns, controlled the air speed, altitudes and glides without aid. I felt like a passenger instead of the pilot."
Frank Hawks, (Original Caption) Hawks To Fly 'Robot' Plane. Lt. Commander Frank Hawks, famous speed pilot, is scheduled to hop off at 4:30 tomorrow morning from the Municipal Airport on a new kind of aerial adventure--a nonstop flight to New York in a robot plane. The plane, Sky Chief, a fourteen-cylinder, low wing monoplane, propelled by a 750.H.P. motor and capable of a 260-mile-an-hour speed at high altitudes, will be used by Hawks. The actual piloting of the air speedster will be left entirely in the sensitive mechanical hands of an automat, a robot perfected by George De Beeson, 36. The device was tested by Hawks, recently, and he declared that it worked perfectly.