Burnelli CB-16


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Burnelli CB-16

The CB-16 monoplane was built as an executive transport for banker Paul W. Chapman and was designed by Vincent Burnelli. The design of Burnelli's first monoplane embodied his 'lifting body' techniques, which involved a more extensive blending of the fuselage with the wing to provide greater lift - and accident survival. The high-wing, open-cockpit CB-16 is also notable for being the first multi-engined aircraft capable of single-engined operation, and possesses a retractable landing gear and an all-stressed metal design. Despite its promising nature and Burnelli's ideas, the CB-16 was lost due to a maintenance error. But it was Burnelli's problematic political connections which really lost him the opportunity to redefine the shape of aviation.

Robert Jackson "The Encyclopedia of Aircraft", 2004

 ENGINE2 x 371kW Curtiss Conqueror piston engines
  Wingspan27.40 m90 ft 11 in
  Length14.00 m46 ft 11 in
  Cruise speed185 km/h115 mph
  Range1287 km800 miles

Joh, e-mail, 26.12.2017 17:31

16 was lost in crash, while being readied for delivery.
Not known what happened to the 14.
14 made a flight with nominal load up to cruise altitude & back on single engine. 16 was first ever twin with retracts. 20 carried the car for advertizing for anti-freeze engine treatment or some such product.


Doug Geffner, e-mail, 29.10.2010 20:15

Mr. Burnelli was my second paternal grand father as he was my Dad's second father as always said.
Mr. Burnelli was an aeronautical genius.
The Boeing and Northrup plane designs were stolen from Mr. Burnelli. Especially the Boeing "blended wing body" ripoff....Slick Goodlin the chief test pilot for Mr. Burnelli should also get a mention. May they all rest in peace with Hashem!


Burnelli Support Group, e-mail, 22.07.2010 19:55

Don't know what I was thinking when I left the comment above. Might have copied some info from another posting. This IS the CB-16, open cockpit and all. There isn't much on the CB-16 history except the "firsts" as mentioned below the picture. I found the UB-14 crash clip. Check it out if it posts corrrectly... www dot aircrash dot org /burnelli /movies /ub14crash dot mov


Burnelli Support Group, e-mail, 21.05.2010 23:09

Yes, this is the UB-14(A)that's crash was caught on film. A UB-14B was built after the crash. It was a pen stroke away from being the next long range bomber before WWII.

You can see the film clip at aircrash.org. It will take some searching for it. Or, go to You Tube and type, Burnelli News Story. It was broadcast as a news story in the late 90's.

The CBY-3 is the last Burnelli plane built and is the one at NEAM (what's left of it).

Burnelli also designed the BWB in 1951 but rejected it for his last design before his death in 1964. Compare Burnelli's BWB with Boeing's at Google, Images. Type, Burnelli 1951 and choose the one with the model and Pop Sci magazine cover together. This first rendition to the beginning of what is now Boeing's BWB is almost identical to Burnelli's model in almost every detail; air intake, engine placement and cowling, winglets. Coincidence?

To see Burnelli's last and greatest design he chose over the BWB, go to Google, Images and type, GB-888A and enter, then type 2002 X-43B hypersonic and enter. Toggle back and forth to compare the two. Again, unbelievably similar but almost 40 years apart and billions of tax dollars later.

Also, check out burnelli.com to see the planes Burnelli built and some designs that should have been built.

Burnelli truly was a man ahead of his time. I'm workin' on it.


steve brandt, e-mail, 10.02.2010 15:33

My father Jay e Brandt loved this airplane and thought it was the future. I think Boeing thought so too as the new design shows!


RichardNH, e-mail, 12.08.2009 05:25

There is a Burnelli Aircraft partially restored at the New England Aviation Museum at Bradley airport in Hartford, CT. Check the Museum web page for a picture of it.


Warren Barry, e-mail, 09.04.2009 12:34

This IS the UB-14 of 1934; however, it was not an open cockpit. As stated above, this was indeed lost in an unfortunate accident. One of it's ailerons malfunctioned and sent it banking starboard almost immediately after takeoff. (There's actually a film of this incident). Due to the incredible safety-minded scheme of all of Burnelli's aircraft (reinforced lifting body, breakaway engines, and secluded fuel tanks), both pilots walked away from the "wreckage". The interior of the plane was barely affected at all.


Charles Chapman, e-mail, 19.02.2009 17:43

The picture above is the Burnelli UB-14 not the CB-16.
However,the text is mostly correct. It correctly states open-cockpits. I have done a bit of research on the subject as I am the great-grandson of "banker Pul W. Chapman".


CASTLE22R, e-mail, 13.06.2008 16:12

This plane was a INTERESTING desine.Personly I think it was a brilliant invention.Please excuse my spelling


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