This is a true story about a man who was passionate about airplanes—flying them, designing them and building them. His innovative designs and creative vision were so much a part of aviation history that his breakthrough biplane design, the Staggerwing, shown on the cover of this book, hangs in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.
Ted Wells not only designed the Staggerwing, but also the Bonanza and many other extremely popular and enduring commercial and military aircraft. Beech Aircraft, the company he co-founded with Walter and Olive Ann Beech, continues to build planes to a standard influenced by Ted’s contribution to pioneering aviation.
While best known for his career in aeronautics, Ted Wells was equally passionate about sailboats and became a competitive sailor of great skill. He sailed at a level of performance that literally exceeded all others. Twice he was awarded the World Championship for the Snipe class of sailboats after winning against national champions from many countries.
Ted Wells was an extraordinarily talented and accomplished individual who put his unique stamp on the most exciting technology of his era. This is his story.