In 1926 Dr. Cloyd L. Snyder, a podiatrist from South Bend, Indiana, supposedly got the idea for a single-wing aircraft after noticing the shape and gliding ability of a shoe’s heel lift. So, with the help of others he developed a mono-wing glider which was successfully piloted in 1932 by Glen Doolittle, cousin of the well-known pilot Jimmy Doolittle.
Raul Hoffman, an experienced aircraft engineer, then added a motorcycle motor and stronger landing gear to the glider, which was successfully tested in 1933 by Glen Doolittle. They designated this single-wing aircraft the Arup S-2 for its quick take-off ability, or Air & Up.
“The purpose or purposes for which it is formed are as follows:
- To engage or become engaged generally in the manufacture and sale of aeroplanes, dirigibles, and all other types of flying craft and all parts and accessories thereof including gas bags and balloons.
- To manufacture, purchase, lease or otherwise acquire and/or sell, mortgage, lease or otherwise dispose of any and all kinds of flying machines or motors; to export or import the same and to carry on any trade or business incidental thereto or connected therewith.
- To apply for, purchase or otherwise acquire, hold, own, use, operate, sell, assign or grant or conduct licenses in respect to any and all inventions, improvements and processes used in connection with or secure under letters patent of the United States or elsewhere in the whole world.”
The 1932 investors in this unusual airplane were all South Bend, Indiana, residents. Francis J.Vurpillat was a doctor, Roland W. Goheen a banker, Forbes A. Hurcomb an automobile engineer, Otto H. Collmer, Jr. a tool maker shop owner, Harold A. McCollough a life insurance agent, Paul O.Kuehn a shoe store merchant and J. Clifford Potts an attorney. I couldn’t find anything about H. L. Stuart.
Photo from “365 Aircraft You Must Fly” by Robert F. Dorr
The Arup S-2 was shown off at events like the Indianapolis 500, the 1933 National Air Races, and for the Army, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, and the Civil Aeronautics Authority.
Strangely enough, a modified version called the Arup S-3 was destroyed by arson. A re-engineered version, the Arup S-4, was built on a tight budget and again successfully tested by Glen Doolittle in 1935.
This new and improved model could not be sold to aircraft companies during the Depression. It was mainly flown to advertise the Sears & Roebuck Co., and then was grounded and abandoned during WWII.
Dr. Snyder’s mono-wing airplane was significant as a bold experiment. It later influenced the radical aeronautic designs of Charles H. Zimmerman who interested the U.S. Navy after WWII in his quick take-off mono-wing airplane. But his creative concepts were cancelled with the development of jet aircraft.
by Robert F. Gilyeat, an Indiana State Archives volunteer
The 1920s and ’30s was a simpler time for aviation. One didn’t require the combined resources of Lockheed Skunk Works, NASA and the brain trust of MIT, as well as near-limitless funding, to develop a new type of aircraft. Back then, anyone could aspire to build an airplane in a vacant shed.