George Miller Dyott Papers

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.