Born: United States of America
Primarily active in: United States of America
Elliot Daland worked in aviation for more than 50 years after his graduation as an aeronautical engineer from MIT in 1918. He was credited with being the first person to use commercial aircraft to dust and kill the boll weevil, saving the cotton crops in Louisiana in 1924. This early operation later developed into Delta Airlines.
He was a founder member, director, designer and engineer of the Piasecki Aircraft Corp. and its predecessor company, Piasecki Helicopter Corp. Other aircraft companies that he previously worked for included Curtiss, Huff-Daland, Keystone, Kellett, Pennsylvania Aircraft and Platt-LePage.
Daland made numerous contributions to the design of aircraft, among then the Keystone Bomber, the first Kellett autogyro, the Wilford rigid-rotor autogyro seaplane and the first tandem helicopter - the Piasecki "Flying Banana."
During World War I, Daland became associated with Standard Aircraft Corp., Elizabeth, N.J. He worked for the firm as a designer under the direction of Thomas H. Huff- Daland Co., later the Keystone Aircraft Corp. of Bristol, and won a contract to build the Keystone Bomber.
Daland left Keystone in 1930 when he joined Kellett in Willow Grove. He became the firm's chief designer and worked on many designs including the KD-1, the first wingless autogyro in the US and the first rotary-wing aircraft to deliver mail to a post office rooftop.
In 1932, he became chief engineer at Pennsylvania Aircraft and designed the XOZ, the Navy's first autogyro seaplane.
Daland became chief designer for Platt-LePage in 1938 where he met Frank Piasecki and left to form the P-V Engineering Forum, Inc. which later became the Piasecki Helicopter Corp. Both sold their holdings to Boeing and the company is now Boeing Vertol Co. In 1955, they formed the present Piasecki Aircraft Corp.
Daland held 9 patents, the last of which was for a rotor blade pitch-control system to stabilize the rotor tip path plane in high-speed flight.
He won many awards, including the American Helicopter Society's Dr. Klemin Award in 1964 for "Notable Achievement in the Advancement of Rotary-Wing Aeronautics."
Daland received his AB Degree from Harvard College in 1909 and a BS degree in aeronautical engineering from MIT in 1918. Elliot Daland, an aircraft pioneer and AHS Klemin Award honoree died November 4, 1977 at his Wallingford, Pa. home. He was 91.
AHS Update: VERTIFLITE January/February 1978