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Giuseppe Mario Bellanca

Giuseppe Mario Bellanca
Bellanca circa 1930
Born March 19, 1886
Sciacca, Italy
Died December 26, 1960(1960-12-26) (aged 74)
New York City
Children August Bellanca

Giuseppe Mario Bellanca (March 19, 1886 – December 26, 1960) was an Italian-American airplane designer and builder who created the first enclosed cabin monoplane in the United States in 1922. This aircraft is now on display at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.


  • Biography 1
  • Archive 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5


He was born on March 19, 1886 in Sciacca, Italy. He graduated with an engineering degree from Politecnico di Milano. He emigrated to Brooklyn in the United States in 1911 where he operated the Bellanca Flying School (1912–16).[nb 1]

In 1921, he moved to Omaha, Nebraska, and with Victor Roos, formed the Roos-Bellanca Aircraft Company. On July 4, 1927, he was featured on the cover of Time.[2]

In that year, he entered into a partnership with Charles A. Levine and formed the Columbia Aircraft Corp.[2]

On April 25, 1927, Clarence Chamberlin and Bert Acosta set a new world's non-refueled endurance record in the WB-2.[2]

After the short-lived partnership with Levine, Bellanca formed a new company, The Bellanca Aircraft Corporation of America in a financial partnership with the DuPont Family. The company would go on to develop a wide range of general aviation and light commercial aircraft. American Champion still produces products with a Bellanca lineage.[3]

In 1941, Bellanca became the head of the aviation department at Higgins Industries, Inc., in New Orleans. He designed cargo aircraft during World War II. In 1954, he formed the Bellanca Development Company.[2]

He died from leukemia at Memorial Hospital in New York City on December 26, 1960.[4]


In 1993, his papers were archived at the National Air and Space Museum.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Bellanca taught Fiorello La Guardia how to fly in exchange for driving lessons.[1]


  1. ^ "The Giuseppe M. Bellanca Collection". National Air and Space Museum, Archives Division. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Biographical and Historical Notes".  
  3. ^ Donald M. Pattillo. A History in the Making: 80 Turbulent Years in the American General Aviation Industry. p. 17. 
  4. ^ "Air Pioneer Dies at 70".  
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