Gerard Post Herrick (1873 - 1955), lawyer, engineer and inventor, created and championed convertible aircraft which combined the operational capabilities of both fixed-wing and rotary-wing flight. Beginning in 1930, initially with the aid of F.E. Seiler, ex-chief engineer of Kellett Aircraft, and later with Ralph H. McClarren, Herrick produced designs for a ‘Vertaplane’(originally ‘Vertoplane’). The HV-1, flown on November 6, 1931, flew successfully in both modes, but crashed when pilot Merrill Lambert attempted a mid-air conversion, and was killed when his parachute failed to open. Herrick’s second design, the HV-2A, successfully flew on October 31, 1936 with pilot George Townson, with the first mid-air conversion on July 30, 1937. In the immediate post-World War II years, Herrick unsuccessfully sought government and private support. He remained a champion of the convertaplane concept until his death in 1955.
Find out more about Gerard Herrick on the AHS bio wiki.