S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Emile and Henry Berliner Aviation Page keywords = Berliner aviation Berlin Emile Emil Berliner Berlin Emile Emil Henry air craft plane Joyce Fury EEMCO ERCO Ercoupe Aircoupe helicopter autogyro propellor blade

Updated:   07 Mar 2014; 19:00 ET
[Page created 20 Nov 2004; converted 07 Mar 2014
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]

URL:  http://sbiii.com/berlavn1.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/berlavn1.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's

Emile and Henry Berliner Aviation Page

Emile and Henry A(dler). Berliner
and Aviation

Emile Berliner and the Gramophone
I have brazenly lifted this wonderful illustration from an MIT site about and for young inventors!

Limitations on size of any single page forced me to split off the
Emile Berliner (and family) stories and Notable Berliners list and now
the aviation aspects from the Berliner page.

DISCLAIMER! - I am NOT related to Emile Berliner and do not claim to be!

I also have relatively little interest in Berliner discography and so provide only a limited amount of information and disc-oriented links from which you can go off on an endless quest on the Web.

Emile Berliner INDEX:

    Berliner Families
    Long Island Berliners
    Author's Lineage
    Berliner Miscellany

    Additional Berliners of Note

                                                                   (Image du Musée des Ondes Emile Berliner à Montréal)
    Emile Berliner, inventor of the carbon microphone,
disc gramophone, and helicopter! (following)
    Nipper, "His Master's Voice", and a surprise!
Emile's Biography
    Milk and Sanitation

EMILE BERLINER and FAMILY - continued:
    Annotations in my copy of Emile's Biography
    Other German Berliners.

(moved from main Emile Berliner page on 22 Nov 01)
    Museums covering Emile and Henry Berliner, et al., and their Work.
(moved from main Emile Berliner page on 22 Nov 01)
    Library of Congress Berliner Collection
    Emile (and Henry) Berliner Links and References.
    Emile (and Henry) Berliner Bibliography.

Emile and Henry Berliner Aviation Page (this page):
    Henry Adler Berliner - aviation, helicopter, autogyro,

Berliner-Joyce, Ercoupe/Aircoupe, etc.
    (moved from the main Emile Berliner page on 20 Nov 2004)
    ERCO Propellors.

    Other German Berliners.
    The Berliners of Hannover 1720 - 1997".

Emile Berliner

The best known American Berliner is Emile, who was born on 20 May 1851 in Hanover, Germany, and came here in 1870 on the HAMMONIA.  He invented the carbon microphone in 1876 and then (in 1887), the disk record and a method of mass producing it and the disk player, the Gramophone.

Berliner and Aviation

There is a staggering amount of material on Emile and his sixth child, Henry A(dler). Berliner, on the Web; I will link as much more as possible.  Oliver Berliner wrote me (06 May 1992) that Henry, his uncle, "operated two businesses in the aeronautical field...EEMCO (Electrical Engineering & Mfg. Co.) and ERCO (Engineering Research Corp.*) the latter in Maryland and the former in Los Angeles.  I believe that both companies are out of business. - - - The last time I was at the Smithsonian, the E. Berliner/H. Berliner autogyro was there.  ERCO's most famous product was the Ercoupe, a spinproof light aircraft that was popular for decades {still is!*}.  - - -   I seem to have lost (or lost track of) info. on Berliner-Joyce and the U. S. Navy's Fury-series (XFJ-1/-3, XF3J, FJ, etc.); there is a forbidden site, "http://aeroweb.brooklyn.cuny.edu/aircraft/" but here J. F. (Joe) Baugher's² far better one!  Henry was an engineer who worked with his father on the pioneering experiments with the helicopter, was president of Berliner Aircraft, Inc., in Washington, D.C., from 1930 to 1954, and was Chief of War Plans for the Eighth Air Force and lost an arm in combat during WWII.  Joyce turns out to be one Temple Nach Joyce.

[2 - Baugher also has a complete listing of ALL US Navy and US Marine Corps BuNos First Series (A6000 to 9999), with the B-J P-16/XF/OJ variations!]

I found this quotation from Henry B.:

"Well, about the only future for the helicopter I can see is in observation."

Happily, especially for Sikorsky, he was very, VERY, VERY wrong!

* - For more on the Ercoupe (later Aircoupe), see my AVIATION page. Also, see below for an ERCO prop blade; it is marked "ENGINEERING & RESEARCH CORPORATION".

There is an Ercoupe Owners Club keeping the marque alive.

There is an entire page on Berliner and Berliner-Joyce Aircraft on the Aerofiles site, one of the most amazing amassments of aircraft information I have ever seen; I heartily recommend that you devote some considerable time to it, if you have not already done so.  Their page on Berliner, alone, is worth every moment and has a photo of Henry piloting the 1921 "helcopter" (so-called).

I was advised (11 Aug 2001) by a Gettysburg-area historian that Henry went to Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania, "in 1927 as a spokesman and partner of a group which operated Hoover Field in Washington and opened and operated The Gettysburg Flying Service, Inc." there.  "By 1929, Henry had apparently sold out and went back to manufacturing airplanes."  This historian, who is writing a paper (for private use) on early aviation in Adams County, needs Henry's date of birth and death (13 Dec 1895 - 01 May 1970) and place of burial; Henry's SS number might, or might not, be 577-09-9258 but he was apparently not buried in Rock Creek Cemetery with his father.  Any help would be appreciated [e-mail directly to Arthur S. Cunningham at asc@netrax.net (cc. to me, please)].

North American Aviation Co. absorbed Berliner-Joyce Aircraft Corp. in 1930 and Berliner-Joyce was dissolved in 1933.

Incidentally, Googling "Berliner-Joyce" on 07 Jun 2005 turned up the North American "Saberliner" for the first time!  That might well be because it was actually the "Sabreliner".

ERCO Propellors

[note-rt.gif ERCO prop(s) wanted - see below#.]

From Texas came these photos of a single blade from an ERCO propellor; first the decal ("Engineering & Research Corporation - ' "COMPREG"" - "ERCO - Riverdale - Maryland"), then the whole blade, with a yardstick thoughtfully provided for reference, the outer portion, the inner portion, and a detail of the hub/ferrule*:

ERCO Prop Decal

ERCO Prop Blade ERCO Prop Blade Outer ERCO Prop Blade Inner ERCO Prop Blade Hub
(Cropped from photos courtesy of owner - all rights reserved)

Can anyone provide more information about this blade?  One might logically assume that "COMPREG" refers to a compressed impregnated wood laminate.

Well, on 09 Jan 2003, I heard from another Erco prop owner and here are his two "COMPREG" blades:

ERCO Prop Blades

He, too, would like more background on these blades.

In late Jul 2003, I heard from yet another ERCO COMPREG prop owner who would like information about the original application and here are selected (and cropped) pictures of his prop; one blade, the other blade, the two hubs together, the two hubs apart, the "E" and a proof mark on a hub, and the USAAF serial number, AAF 43K12157:

ERCO Prop 01

ERCO Prop 02

ERCO Prop 03

ERCO Prop 06

ERCO Prop 05 ERCO Prop 07
(Cropped from photos courtesy of owner - all rights reserved)

The owner wrote that "this prop has not seen airtime and still has the original preservative on the hubs".  Clearly, this was a prop for an Army Air Force plane.  A trainer?  A spotter?  There WAS no USAAF prior to 20 Jun 1941 (U. S. Army Air Corps) nor after 18 Sep 1947 (U. S. Air Force).  Who can tell us the usage of ANY ERCO propellors?

On 15 Jan 2005, I heard from another Erco prop. owner; here is his, with a complete hub:



(Cropped from photos courtesy of owner - all rights reserved)

This gentleman would like to know "what it came off of, what the value of it is, who might be interested in buying it, etc."  Any info.?  Please let us know.

Well, I found that ERCO props were apparently used on PT-17 trainers (NOT on B-17 bombers!) in the military and that they made the blades, not the hubs*; the hubs* are from Hamilton-Standard.

ERCO made three sizes of COMPREG blades:  45", 49½", and 52".

* - we have a problem of terminology here; in some cases, the owners are talking about the ferrules that form the base of the blade, in others, they refer to the part that holds those ferrules, and thus the whole blades, to the propeller shaft.  It is this latter hub, often with feathering gear, that H-S made.  The former hub (or ferrule) is integral with the wooden COMPREG blade, being pressed on (or otherwise fastened) to the shank of the blade and was made by ERCO.  A primary hub plus two or more blades (with ferrules) makes up a built-up propellor.  To try to sort this out until I find more authoritative terms, here's a rough sketch:

(18 Aug 2005 sketch by and © 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

# - if you have an ERCO "COMPREG" prop with which you'd be willing to part,
please let me know.

Also, would any old timer who either worked for ERCO or on COMPREG props
please contact me re a research project?

[Funny, trying to Google just "COMPREG" alone is a nightmare; "COMPREG" is a tradename for various plywoods and "compreg.dat" is a widely-used Computer Registration file!  You must use limiters and delimiters.]

I was advised (16 Jan 2007) that an ERCO "COMPREG" prop was to be among items to be up for bid at a Science & Technology auction on 24 March 2007 at Skinner’s in Boston (along with some very interesting phonograph cylinders).

Berliner commissioned a radial aircraft engine in 1908 (perhaps the first ever) for his early helicopter experiments.

You might wish to visit my other Berliner pages noted on the INDEX, above.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

U.S.Flag U.S.Flag


THUMBS UP!  -  Support your local police, fire, and emergency personnel!

Contact S. Berliner, III

(Junk and unsigned e-mail and blind telephone messages will NOT be answered)

prevpage.gif  =  frstpage.gif    nextpage.gif
of this series of Berliner pages.

© Copyright S. Berliner, III - 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014  - all rights reserved.

Return to Top of Page