This collection contains approximately 0.96 cubic feet of material pertaining to George Miller Dyott's aviation career including correspondence; photographs; financial records; technical drawings; military records; news clippings; a World War I field diary; calling cards; and an annotated manuscript entitled, "Flying," written by Dyott. Photographic formats include black and white prints of various sizes (some of which are mounted on cardstock or matted) and 5 by 7 inch glass plates. Many of the photographs, including one entire album, are devoted to Dyott's service with the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) during World War I. Aircraft pictured in the photographs include the Dyott Monoplane; Dyott Bomber; Walden IV 1910 Monoplane (identfied here as the Walden-Dyott Monoplane); an unidentifed model of Deperdussin; Nieuport 17; Vickers (UK) E.F.B.5 Gunbus; a Sopwith Baby fitted with Le Prieur Rockets; Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2; Handley Page O/400; Morane-Saulnier Type L (Mo.S.3); Blériot XI; Farman (Henry) H.F.20 (Type Militaire Biplane); and a later photo of a Bellanca Pacemaker CH-300. There are also photographs of a Royal Navy non-rigid airship and the wreck of the Zeppelin LZ 76 (Navy L 33), as well as early equipment such as searchlights; anti-aircraft guns; an anti-aircraft armored vehicle; and various types of bombs. In addition to Dyott, other well-known people in the photographs include Henry W. Walden; Patrick Hamilton; Francisco Madero (33rd President of Mexico); Arthur W. Bigsworth; and Reginald A. J. Warneford. There are also four technical drawings dating to 1914 in the collection ranging in size from approximately 24.25 by 15.5 inches up to 41 x 14 inches. Three of the drawings are on coated cloth and one is on waxed paper. Two are for a small promotional aircraft made from an ale bottle and powered by an 80-hp Gnome engine, one is marked "Worthington Ales" and the other is marked "Little Peter." The third drawing is a three-view of a "Hydro-Aeroplane for Tropical Rivers" powered by two 100-hp Mercedes engines, and the fourth is a side drawing of an unspecified type of biplane (undated). In addition to the drawings, there is a graph on waxed paper (14.5 by 13.25 inches) tracking altitude, time, and speed for an unknown aircraft (undated). The collection also includes records relating to the design and production of the Dyott Monoplane and Dyott Bomber.
Biographical / Historical:
George Miller Dyott (1883-1972) was an early aviator; veteran of the Royal Naval Air Service; aircraft designer; and explorer. Dyott was born in New York in 1883 to an American mother and a British father. Dyott was educated in the United Kingdom before returning to the United States where he learned to fly at Curtiss Field in New York. Dyott was awarded Royal Aero Club aviator's certificate 114 in August of 1911. Around this time, Dyott partnered with Henry W. Walden designing monoplanes. In the autumn of 1911, Dyott and Patrick Hamilton began making a tour of exhibition flights with two Deperdussin monoplanes (one single and one double seater) which started in New York and included stops in the Bahamas and Mexico, where they carried then-President Francisco Madero as a passenger. Dyott then returned to the United Kingdom where he designed the Dyott Monoplane, manufactured by Hewlett & Blondeau, which he brought to the United States to fly a six month demonstration tour beginning in April 1913. Dyott entered military service in 1914 and served as a squadron commander for the Royal Naval Air Service during World War I. Around this time, Dyott designed a large twin-engine biplane for use in exploring. The Royal Naval Air Service saw a potential in this design for military use so Dyott made some modifications and two prototypes were ordered from Hewlett & Blondeau in 1916. The two Dyott Bomber prototypes were built and flight tested with various engines and armament, with the second being service tested in France, but the model never entered production. After World War I, Dyott became an explorer and joined the Royal Geographical Society. In 1927, Dyott was hired to lead an expedition retracing the steps of the Roosevelt-Rondon Scientific Expedition which confirmed Theodore Roosevelt's claims about the group's discovery and exploration of the Rio Roosevelt ("River of Doubt"). In 1928, Dyott led an expedition into Brazil searching for missing explorer Percy Fawcett. Dyott also founded Dyott & Company, Ltd. in Lima, Peru taking aerial photographs and other scenic views that were sold as post cards. Dyott wrote several books about his adventures (one of which was adapted into a feature film, Manhunt in the Jungle, in 1958), and also starred as himself in two documentary films (Hunting Tigers in India in 1929 and Savage Gold, which he also co-wrote, in 1933). In the mid-1930s, Dyott retired to Ecuador where he lived largely in isolation. He conducted two expeditions searching for Inca treasure in the late 1940s before returning to Ecuador where he stayed until returning to New York to reunite with his wife and children shortly before his death.
Michael Dyott, Gift, 2016
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