"Your automobile is a low flying airplane. Let's take the car off the road and fly where flying is safe--in the wide blue yonder!" An impractical dream? So was flying not so long ago....so was motoring. And now says Daniel R. Zuck, "since the modern car has slavishly imitated the plane in everything except the wings, let's put wings on it and make it fully functional." (this is an excerpt taken from Daniel's book "An Airplane in Every every Garage")
Daniel R. Zuck has had a hand in designing the structural and mechanical detail of many top secret military aircraft, and commercial aircraft, but his closest interest, ever since he built his first glider more than 70 years ago, has been the personal plane, the kind that can be flown or driven on the road and housed in a home garage. (the Plane-Mobile or roadable airplane)
Born in Pennsylvania, he came to California in the 1930's when the aviation industry was beginning to center there.
He was formerly project design engineer for the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation on the Navy PBY series seaplanes; held the same post, in the power-plant group, at Interstate Aircraft and Engineering Corporation, which turned out personal planes and military planes for the Army and Navy during World War II; and later became project engineer for Interstate. In 1944 Daniel went to work for Lockheed's Skunk Works, (under Kelly Johnson) Lockheed's top secret Advanced Development Projects Division, that produced many of the most advanced aircraft of the era.
To develop his dream, Daniel attended Casey Jones School of Aeronautics in Newark, New Jersey (now The College of Aeronautics) He worked various jobs given to him by the school to help pay tuition. He worked at Newwark Metropolitan Airport (now the LaGuardia/ Kennedy Airport). He had a cot and worked and slept in the tower on night duty. Daniel liked to tell the story; one night while he was sleeping Howard Hughes wanted to land to refuel on one of his cross-country record speed trips. Mr. Hughes had to buzz the tower several times to wake Daniel up to turn on the runway lights, causing Mr. Hughes to become angry over this loss of time. (Airports were very low tech in those days).
Many magazine and newspaper articles have been written about Daniel R. Zuck and his inventions over the years.