Airpower Magazine, Volume 7 No. 3 May, 1977
The most cogent of these are the later Wright Field tests, conducted in 1945 and 1947, which were cautiously optimistic about the channel wing concept. There is also the testimony of the Wright Field engineer, Don Young, who conducted the tests. He testified in a Washington Federal District Court that the channel wing was in fact capable of direct lift, and largely as a result of his testimony, Custer was granted additional patents.
These optimistic test interpretations are reinforced by results from independent engineering firms which have investigated the theory and found it to have merit.
The brutal truth is that the government would have rendered itself and Custer an inestimable service if it could have structured tests which would have proved, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that the channel wing was either (A) absolutely worthless or (B) had some promise. In case A, Custer could have turned to other things, while in case B, he might have been able to obtain adequate capitalization.
Custer persisted, however, and built an engineering test vehicle, the CCW-2, in response to some of Young's test report recommendations. The CCW-2 used a Taylorcraft fuselage and empennage, with six foot channels in lieu of wings. Conforming to Young's suggestions, the channels were shorter, and the propeller was placed at the extreme rear edge of the surface. The CCW-2 was extensively tested in free flight, tethered, and in the NACA wind tunnel. continue...