Lawrence Sperry Aircraft Company, 1918-1927Creation: 1918-1927
- Creation: 1918-1927
In 1915 Elmer Sperry's son, Lawrence Sperry (1892-1924), was put in charge of the Sperry Gyroscope Company's Aviation Department. Two years later, he founded his own company, the Lawrence Sperry Aircraft Company, to develop and market the airplane stabilizer, aerial torpedo, and automatic pilot. Lawrence Sperry was a daring test pilot and his exploits in the 1916 Paris Air Show provided both his company and Sperry Gyroscope with valuable publicity. After Lawrence Sperry died in a December 13, 1924, flight across the English Channel, the rights to the aeronautical instruments developed by Elmer and Lawrence Sperry reverted to the Sperry Gyroscope Company.
Scope and Contents
The Lawrence Sperry Aircraft Company records include technical and sales correspondence, engineering drawings, and reports that document the development of the aerial torpedo, automatic pilot, airplane stabilizer, and other aeronautical instruments. Correspondence with the Navy's Air Service Department describes the company's research, development and testing programs. There are also a number of reports on test flights. Patents and financial records document the relationship between the Lawrence Sperry Aircraft Company and the Sperry Gyroscope Company, as well as the agreements of both with the Curtiss Aeroplane & Motor Corporation. The Perry-Curtiss joint venture culminated with the invention of the flying bomb (1917-1918), which placed Sperry controls on a Curtiss-designed plane.
4 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
From the Collection: English
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