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Air Cushion Vehicles [Bertelsen] Collection

Creator:
Bertelsen, William  Search this
Names:
Bertelsen, William  Search this
Extent:
4.68 Cubic feet (13 letter-size document boxes, 1 VHS tape)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1957-1994
bulk 1960-1980
Summary:
The Air Cushion Vehicles Collection consists of materials gathered by William R. Bertelsen and it highlights his interest in, and contributions to, the development of Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs). The bulk of the collection covers the span between 1960 and 1980, but materials before and after those dates are also present. The collection includes photographs, brochures, reports and proceedings, and a videotape on the topic of ACVs. Bertelsen's notebooks, documenting his research and development of air cushion technologies, constitute the majority of the collection.
Scope and Contents:
The Air Cushion Vehicles Collection consists of materials gathered by William R. Bertelsen, highlighting his interest in, and contributions to, the development of ACVs. The bulk of the collection covers the span between 1960 and 1980, but materials before and after those dates are also present. The collection includes photographs, brochures, reports and proceedings, as well as a videotape on the topic of ACVs. Bertelsen's notebooks, documenting the research and development of his vehicles, represent the majority of the collection.
Arrangement:
The Air Cushion Vehicles [Bertelsen] Collection is arranged as follows:

Series I: Notebooks, Photographs, and Writings

Series II: Personal Research

The arrangement presents the original order of materials. Series 1, Bertelsen's notebooks, photographs, and writings, is in original order (chronological), with folder titles reflecting his original notebook titles. Series 2 is also arranged in original order but with chronology being imposed at the folder level as necessary. Original folder titles are kept when available; titles appearing in brackets [ ] are the archivist's.
Biographical / Historical:
William R. Bertelsen was a pioneer in the research and development of Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs). Born in Moline, Illinois, on May 20, 1920, Bertelsen, initially studied electrical engineering but later pursued medical science studies. He attended the Indiana Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Bertelsen earned his M.D. from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1947, while also serving in the United States Navy Reserve.

It was Bertelsen's career as a country doctor that primarily drove him to design and experiment with a variety of ACVs. His need for a way to reach rural patients in all forms of inclement weather quickly evolved into a life-long passion for developing alternative forms of transportation. Persisting through periods of encouragement and rejection alike, Bertelsen designed a number of ACVs and Ground Effect Machines (GEMs), including: Aeromobiles 35-1, 35-2, 72, 200-1, 200-2, 250-1; Arcopter GEM-1, GEM-2, GEM-3; and a vertical take-off and landing aircraft (VTOL). He also developed other types of air cushion applications, such as the Aeroplow, the Aeroduct System of Mass Transportation, and the Air Track Air Cushion Crawler. Additionally, Bertelsen wrote scientific papers, appeared in publications, and participated professionally in a number of domestic and international air cushion vehicles organizations, such as the U.S. Hovercraft Society, the British Hovercraft Society, and the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute.

Besides his busy career as a physician and inventor, Bertelsen was also a husband and father of four children. Experiments and tests were often a family affair, as he liked to involve family and neighbors whenever practicable. Bertelsen never truly retired, working for the Metro MRI Center in Moline, Illinois, until March 2009. His final blog posts, only months before his death on July 16, 2009, still encouraged innovation and new ways of thinking about transportation. Several of Bertelsen's vehicles are in the collections of the National Air and Space Museum.
Provenance:
Donated by William R. Bertelsen; William D. Bertelsen, Jr.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Please contact the Audio/Visual Archivist to access the VHS tape that is included in this collection.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Ground-effect machines  Search this
Bertelsen, William R.  Search this
Air-cushion vehicles  Search this
Vertical take-off and landing aircraft  Search this
Citation:
Air Cushion Vehicles [Bertelsen] Collection, Accession 1994-0013, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1994.0013
See more items in:
Air Cushion Vehicles [Bertelsen] Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/pg216b211ff-b898-4025-a829-6000bc6be6f2
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1994-0013
Online Media:

Notebook 11: Experiments on Deflected Slipstream Vertical Take Off and Landing Aircraft, September 6

Collection Creator:
Bertelsen, William  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1961
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Please contact the Audio/Visual Archivist to access the VHS tape that is included in this collection.
Collection Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Collection Citation:
Air Cushion Vehicles [Bertelsen] Collection, Accession 1994-0013, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Air Cushion Vehicles [Bertelsen] Collection
Air Cushion Vehicles [Bertelsen] Collection / Series 1: Notebooks, Photographs, and Writings
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/pg2307ad976-bae1-4100-8af2-6341b8f5e4f8
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1994-0013-ref17

A New Car Proves It Can Fly (Barely)

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Mon, 21 Oct 2013 16:36:00 +0000
Topic:
Search this
See more post:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_1ca33d82655ee6b7eb944e01efcc09d4

Harrier : the biography / Jonathan Glancey

Author:
Glancey, Jonathan  Search this
Physical description:
304 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
2013
Topic:
Harrier (Jet fighter plane)--History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1023075

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